The Israeli army ordered the confiscation of land in the northern West Bank to build a new military base, according to Palestinian residents who received notification of the move on Wednesday.
In an order distributed to 12 residents of the northern district of Tubas, Israel’s army commander for the West Bank said the military would take control of 37 hectares of land until the year 2012.
“Lands will be seized for military purposes to build a base,” the order read, according to the residents.
The military denied any new land would be confiscated.
Instead, the military said in a statement, “We renewed the contracts in order to give back to the owners land the army doesn’t need any more.”
Israel has said it would no longer confiscate West Bank land to expand Jewish settlements, but that does not apply to the military.
The new order added to Palestinian mistrust of Israel as it pursues peace talks with moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
While not extending the boundaries of the settlements, the Israelis are building new housing inside some of them, angering the Palestinians.
“Every procedure that confiscates lands or expands settlements ... adds to the doubt Palestinians feel about Israel’s intentions in reaching a peace deal,” said Jamal Zakkout, a Palestinian government spokesman.
The Israeli military confiscation order allows residents to demand compensation — a move few Palestinians undertake because they believe it signals approval.
There are already two military camps nearby, residents said. That means they are banned from entering much of the area.
“We people here live off the land and raise animals, we need our land,” resident Ibrahim Badawi said.
The 60-year-old farmer said he hadn’t been able to reach his fields in years because of checkpoints that dot the area, as well as surrounding military bases and settlements.
Sarit Michaeli of Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that under international law, the army is permitted to seize lands for military purposes. But she said that in the past Israel had taken land for military purposes only to convert bases into Jewish settlements later.
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable