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Israeli settler expropriates Palestinian lands using electric fence

Feb. 25, 2019 2:51 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2019 4:07 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- An Israeli settler surrounded hundreds of dunams of Palestinian lands with en electric fence in the al-Sweida area in the Jordan Valley, on Monday, under armed security by Israeli forces.

Mutaz Bsharat, an official who monitors settlement activity in the Tubas district/Jordan Valley, told Ma'an that the settler had set up 3 tents in the area several months ago and used them for cattle.

Bsharat pointed out that these lands are owned by Palestinians.

Additionally, Israeli forces installed surveillance cameras on all confiscated lands -- more than 600 dunams -- under procedures to prevent dozens of Palestinians from reaching their lands.

Bsharat added that Israel considers these lands under the “Absentee Property.”

The 1950 Absentee Property Law, permits the Israeli government to transfer so-called “absentee" property belonging to Palestinians to Jewish residents by submitting a payment to the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property, allowing the Israeli government to claim that the properties had been acquired by payment instead of through direct confiscation.

The law was established following the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel that resulted in the mass displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians. Israel’s definition of an “absentee” allowed for the Israeli state to take over Palestinian property even when the displaced residents ended up within the borders of the newly established state.

Palestinians have continued to be denied access to their properties for having been absent from their homes, even if just for a few days, as of 1947, when many Palestinians fled from their homes to escape Jewish Zionist forces during the Arab-Israeli war.

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