I’m sure any minute now the State Dept. and White House will issue a statement condemning this unilateral, provocative move on the part of Israel. Just kidding!
I guess there is a difference between cultivated and uncultivated Palestinian land? From Haaretz:
or the first time in three years, the state has confiscated uncultivated land in the West Bank. The land will be used to legalize a nearby settlement outpost.
Last week, acting on orders from the government, the Civil Administration declared 189 dunams of land belonging to the Palestinian village of Karyut to be state land, so as to retroactively legalize houses and a road in the Hayovel neighborhood of the settlement of Eli. This would seem to violate Israel’s long-standing commitment to the United States not to expropriate Palestinian lands for settlement expansion.
In 2004, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised U.S. President George W. Bush to stop this practice, and this promise was later reiterated by his successor, Ehud Olmert. In his speech at Bar-Ilan University in 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have no intention to build new settlements or set aside land for new settlements. But there is a need to have people live normal lives and let mothers and fathers raise their children like everyone in the world.”
This is the current government’s first such expropriation of lands. The last lands to be similarly expropriated were 20 dunams near Betar Ilit that were declared state land in November 2008 to allow the construction of a gas station.
Peace Now chairman Yariv Oppenheimer said Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were going to great lengths to legalize isolated outposts deep in the territories, even if this involves land expropriations, but “as far as evictions are concerned, the state is dragging its feet.” He said this will encourage settlers to keep building illegally.
The only purpose of this is to make an independent Palestinian state with contiguous borders impossible.
The State Dept. is probably too busy working to prevent the Palestinian’s “unilateral” bid for statehood at the U.N. to worry about such unimportant things as this.