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Official: Israel to confiscate more land in Nablus

June 26, 2013 2:16 P.M. (Updated: June 29, 2013 2:07 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military plans to confiscate 379 dunums of Palestinian land near Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said Wednesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities, said Israel's military commander in the West Bank Nitsan Alon issued the decision to confiscate the land in Kafr Qalil.

The land belongs to Muhammad Abu Zarur, Samih Sadqa, Bassam al-Shaqa, Abdul Fattah Kashkash, Muhammad Qani, Kathem Abdul Ghani and Jamil Khader and his brothers, Daghlas told Ma'an.

Daghlas said the Israeli military cited security reasons for the confiscation.

The Israeli military said a seizure order was issued to formalize the status of Tel a-Ras Outpost, a military position.

"The outpost and security components within it were formalized following extensive general staff work, culminating in the seizure of less than an acre (0.8) of private land. The majority of the outpost's land belongs to the Israeli government," the army said in a statement.

Nablus Mayor Jibrin al-Bakri said the Israeli government was speeding up land confiscation in the West Bank, particularly in areas near Israeli settlements.

Al-Bakri said that in recent weeks, Israel had announced the confiscation of over 950 dunums in Nablus villages including Azmut, Huwwara, Awarta, Rujeib and al-Naqura.

He said the issue was an obstacle to peace talks and to US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

The Nablus municipality is exerting efforts to ease residents' suffering, particularly amid constant attacks by Israeli settlers, the mayor added.

Al-Bakri called on the Israeli government to rein in its settlers and stop their brutality.
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