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Israel to annex Ramallah-area land for settlement expansion

July 20, 2018 2:55 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2018 5:22 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities approved a plan, on Thursday, to construct a new road for Israeli settlers, to execute a previous plan to annex 324 dunams (80 acres) of Palestinian-owned land west of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

The planned road would link the illegal Israeli settlements of Beit Aryeh and Ofarim through the confiscation of additional Palestinian land.

The two settlements already form as one huge settlement due to the continuous expansion through the occupied West Bank.

The Land Research Center of the Arab Studies Association (LRC) said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli authorities had announced earlier this month the start of the outline plan No. (6/201), which aims to control the area made up of a total space of 324 dunums (80 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the villages of al-Lubban al-Gharbiya and Aboud in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.

The center added that it was obvious from the detailed plan that Israel aims to connect the two illegal Israeli settlements by a new road, in an attempt to bring the distances between them and create a permanent connection.

The center expressed its fear of the establishment of Israeli settlement neighborhoods on the sides of the planned road, which will create an enormous settlement bloc in that area.

According to LRC, this planned road will be used by Israeli settlers only; which is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law and of UN resolutions regarding occupying Palestinian land to expand Israeli settlements.

LRC pointed out that the construction of this road will prevent Palestinians from rightfully expanding on their private lands and will limit their movement in the area.

LRC added that these measures impose an irreversible fate for the Palestinian people, in which it thwarts the idea of establishing a Palestinian independent state, and that "the two-state solution will no longer be able to withstand all these obstacles."

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

The estimated 196 governments recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.
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