Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank has announced the takeover of 988 acres of land belonging to five Palestinian villages in the Etzion settlement bloc, clearing the way for the construction of a new settlement named Gvaot.
The announcement follows the cabinet’s decision last week to take over the land in response to the June kidnapping and killing of three teenage Jewish boys by Hamas militants in the area.
Peace Now, which monitors settlement construction, said it was the largest Israeli appropriation of West Bank land in 30 years.
Allison, Don and Noah ask why the cabinet decided to expropriate these lands at this moment. Is this Israel single-handedly sabotaging the chances for a two-state solution? Or is Foreign Minister Leiberman right when he claims that the land in question would be allotted to Israel in the land swaps that will likely be part of any two-state solution?
Photo: A road sign near the Gush Etzion Junction pointing to a memorial of the three Jewish teenagers, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel, who were killed in the West Bank at the beginning of June. Credit: Gershon Elinson/FLASH90.