Settlers seize private land for “security reasons”

PNN/Tel Aviv/

A study by Haaretz found that land seized by Israeli settlers under the pretext of creating “security zones” have been used to build houses and sports stadiums.

Haaretz newspaper revealed today that Israeli settlers in the West Bank have confiscated privately owned Palestinian land claiming to use it as “security zones” while in reality they have been used for other purposes.  The newspaper wrote that during this study, they discovered that 9 out of 12 settlements took advantage of what they call “security zones” to create private apartments and sports stadiums. Haaretz also suggests that the Civil Administration has been aware of this method of land acquisition without attempting to stop it.

The creation of these so-called “security zones” around settlements began in 2002, during the second intifada. Between 2002 and 2004, several settlements were infiltrated and 31 people were killed as a result. This led to the attempted improvement of the defense of the settlements and the creation of “security zones.”

An Israeli researcher on settlement policies interviewed by Haaretz said that:

“…with time this became a de facto means of expanding the area under the control of the settlers. This is another manifestation of the attitude of the state that treats Palestinian property as if it was ownerless.”