The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority has said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has imposed its control over 36 areas in the West Bank under the pretext of nature reserves.
Senior official of the authority Issa Mousa told Voice of Palestine radio that there are many West Bank areas that had been declared nature reserves by the IOA with the aim of using them as military posts or Jewish settlements.
Mousa affirmed that the IOA recently announced its decision to seize 11,000 dunums of Palestinian land in the West Bank to turn them into nature reserves, adding that those seized areas are actually fertile agricultural lands in Jericho, southern Jiftlik, Deir Hijleh and eastern Tayasir in Tubas.
He pointed out that the conversion of lands into nature reserves cannot be done by military decisions but rather through field studies, and there are special criteria and conditions for taking such measure according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Palestinian official said that the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority documented all the Israeli violations in those areas as a prelude to submitting them to the UN General Assembly.