In a move that seems determined to fuel more international backlash against them, the Israeli government is preparing to seize a large plot of Palestinian farmland near Jericho, allowing nearby settlements to access the land for themselves.
The 380 acres of farmland is in territory which was intended to be part of an eventual Palestinian state, but settlers objected to this, as they’ve been illegally farming the outskirts of the land for years. Since it is in Israeli military administered land, the Palestinian owners weren’t allowed to use it at any rate.
The government seizure, then, is the latest in a long line of retroactive legalization of illegal moves by settlers to appropriate privately owned Palestinian land. The argument will likely center on them using “abandoned” land after the military barred the Palestinians from it.
Israeli settlement expansions and territory seizures like this are illegal under international law, though the Israeli government insists they have a religious obligation to seize the territory, and usual react with fury when criticized for such moves.