HRW: Israel Should Reverse Appropriation of Palestinian Land

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Israel should immediately reverse its illegal appropriation of land in the occupied West Bank south of Jerusalem, Human Rights Watch said in a statement published on its website Thursday.

HRW: Israel Should Reverse Appropriation of Palestinian Land

“Israeli officials are showing utter contempt for international law that prohibits settlements in occupied territory and protects Palestinians’ land rights,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said.

“This is another reminder why the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, should immediately grant the International Criminal Court jurisdiction,” she added.

The court’s statute prohibits the expropriation of property unless imperative as a matter of military necessity, RIA Novosti reported.

On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel over its seizing of West Bank land near Bethlehem.

“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which -as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions- is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution,” Ban said.

On Monday, the Israeli Civil Administration, a military department with authority over land use in the West Bank, declared the appropriation of 3,977 dunams (400 hectares) of land belonging to five Palestinian villages.

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