Israel decides to confiscate 50 dunams in East Jerusalem 17Dec10 December 18, 2010

IMEMC – 17 December 2010

Head of the so-called Civil Administration Office, operating under the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank, signed an order to confiscate 50 Dunams of lands that belong to Palestinian residents on Beit Iksa village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

The lands are being taken away from their owners so that Israel can construct a railroad system linking Jerusalem with Tel Aviv.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Yoav Mordechai signed the order only a few days before he retired from his position.

The order states that annexing the lands “serves public interest” as it links Jewish settlements in the West Bank with Israel, and that the project “has enough money to compensate the owners of the lands for their losses”, adding that “this gives the govern sufficient reasons to confiscate the lands”.

20 Dunams of the annexed lands will be used for the railroad and 30 other Dunams will be used for “preparing the ground for the construction”, Haaretz said.

Haaretz also reported that “the land will return to its original use” after the construction is over.

The decision was made despite the fact that the Justice Ministry in Israel has the opinion that does not allow confiscating lands in the West bank if the confiscated lands will not also serve the local population.

Yet, all settlements in the occupied territories, and most of the roads leading to them,  are Jewish only and do not serve the local Palestinian population.

See BNC Statement on unlawful train project 18Dec10

See Who Profits? report on Tel Aviv-Jerusalem fast train

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