Israel plans to seize 700 dunums of land under Palestinian control in the northern West Bank village of Qaryout in order to expand an illegal area settlement, according to a local activist.
Bashar Sadeq, active in the settlement resistance movement, told WAFA that the Israeli military passed out an aerial picture showing that village land that has been recognized as part of Area B, which is under Palestinian administration and Israeli security control, has been cut off in order to be used for the expansion of the illegal settlement of Eli.
He said the land in question is 700 dunums in area and that the decision would harm its Palestinian landowners, who are mainly farmers, since now they cannot enter or benefit from their land without a special army permit.
The Israeli soldiers yesterday kicked out the farmers while they were harvesting their olive crops in that land and ordered them not to return to it without a military permit.
The 1993 Palestinian-Israeli Oslo agreement divided West Bank land into Area A, which is under full Palestinian rule, Area B, administered by the Palestinians but the security remained in Israel’s hands, and Area C, which is under full Israeli control and which makes up more than 60 percent of the area of the West Bank.
This is the first time since 1993 that Israel cuts off land from Area B and turns it into Area C.