For anybody who cares about human rights, this news is sadly unsurprising:
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank use only 12 percent of the land allocated to them, but one-third of the territory they do use lies outside their official jurisdictions, according to a new report released today byPeace Now, a dovish advocacy group.
According to the report, based on official data released by the Israeli government following a court order, 90 percent of the settlements sprawl beyond their official boundaries despite the large amount of unused land already allocated to them.
More than 10 percent of the land included within the official jurisdiction of the settlements is owned privately by Palestinians, as is 70 percent of the land the settlements control outside their official boundaries, said the report, whose findings were published today in the Haaretz newspaper.
According to Dror Etkes, who prepared the report with Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, the official data show how the government has taken West Bank land beyond the needs of the settlements in order to prevent Palestinian construction there and to add a zone of separation between the settlers and the Palestinians.
The only way Israel will give up its colonial addiction to stealing Palestinian land is intense US pressure or international boycotts. This report proves yet again that the Israeli state has no desire to end the occupation or even consider a viable Palestinian state. As many of us have been saying for years, but such truths are routinely ignored in the Western media.
(Hello CNN, we’re talking about you.)
The golden rule for most Western journalists is to seemingly ignore the power of Hamas in the equation. The reality, however, as written by a columnist in Israel’s leading newspaper, is that “…when it comes to the Palestinians, Hamas is the address for doing business.”