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Israel confiscates Palestinian land near Nablus citing 'security'

Oct. 28, 2015 2:43 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 28, 2015 5:54 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Wednesday confiscated private Palestinian land in six villages of the Nablus district in the northern West Bank citing "security" measures, a local monitor said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that an Israeli army commander had notified locals that dozens of acres of land would be seized in Beit Furik, Salem, Awarta, Yasuf, al-Sawiya, and Azmut.

The commander said the land was being confiscated for the "prevention of terrorist attacks," Daghlas said.

"Palestinian properties are confiscated to please extremist settlers," Daghlas said, adding that the Palestinian Authority would be tasking a team of lawyers with defending all Palestinian land included in the Israeli decision.

A spokesperson for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) had no immediate information on the reports, nor did an Israeli army spokesperson.

Israel has been imposing punitive measures across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem following a series of individual attacks by Palestinians that have left 10 Israelis dead since the beginning of the month.

More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the same period.

In the Nablus area, measures have included the closure of checkpoints and streets leading into Palestinian towns and villages, mass arrests, and punitive home demolitions.

Israeli rights group HaMoked said Monday that they have filed petitions to Israel's High Court over three homes slated for demolition in the Nablus area.

The High Court of Justice the same day temporarily banned "the seizure or demolition of the structures pending another decision."

The petitions were filed on behalf of families living in the homes, relatives of Palestinians believed to be involved in an attack that left two Israeli settlers dead on Oct. 1. Three more were filed on behalf of neighbors living close by.

Decisions regarding the group's petitions are expected to be made by the High Court on Thursday.
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