Israel has declared 234 hectares of West Bank territory as state land, officials said Tuesday, leading a watchdog to warn of possible settlement expansion that could increase tensions with Palestinians.
COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for implementing government policies in the Palestinian territories, said the move was taken “in accordance with the decision of the political level”.
It gave no further explanation or more details, but Palestinians who claim ownership of the land can appeal the decision within 45 days.
The confiscation comes amid a wave of violence that has seen 194 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese killed since October 1, according to an AFP count. Most of the Palestinians were killed while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.