Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed by reports that the Jewish National Fund intends to start officially purchasing land in the West Bank to expand Israeli settlements. Such a step would be a dramatic change in the JNF's policy, with potentially dramatic repercussions. It could significantly bolster the Israeli settlement enterprise, which is aimed at thwarting a future two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The report, published in the Israeli news site Walla and in the US-based Axios News, is based on an official JNF memo which endorses a legal opinion stating that buying land for settlements in the West Bank would be within the legal mandate of the Jewish National Fund. The memo includes a list of existing settlements, which the JNF is apparently targeting for expansion through the purchase of privately-owned Palestinian land in their vicinity.
APN strongly opposes JNF's reported plan. We are consulting with our partners in Israel and the United States on the most appropriate steps to stop it.
APN's President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "We will not stand silently by as the Jewish National Fund, an agency that was created to build the State of Israel, serves as a tool to destroy the prospects of building a Palestinian state, thus denying Palestinian self-determination and undermining Israel's future as a democracy."