News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:
The Army radio exposed today that on March 10, 2016, during Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel, the Civil
Administration’s Head of the Government Property signed a declaration according to which 2,342 dunams (580 acres)
south of Jericho are now government property. This declaration of state land comes two months after the Minister of
Defense approved a declaration of 1,500 dunams as state lands in an area south of Jericho. It appears that the
January approval by the MoD permitted the land declaration which is now being implemented. However, the size of the
land declared is larger than what was published in January and includes 2,342 dunams. The declaration, which is in
fact a confiscation, was meant for the expansion of nearby settlements as well as for trade and tourism projects
operated by the settlers. This is one of the largest declarations in recent years, and it is another illustration
of the government’s policy of land confiscation, including those far beyond the green line and the separation
Peace Now: This declaration is a de-facto confiscation of Palestinian lands for the purpose of settlement.
Instead of trying to clam the situation, the government is adding fuel to the fire and sending a clear message to
Palestinians, as well as to Israelis, that it has no intention to work towards peace and two states. Netanyahu
proves yet again, that settler pressure is more important to him than the deteriorating security situation.