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Israel's Fraudalent Approach to 'Peace Talks' Exposed— Again: In the Midst of Pretending to Negotiate With Palestinians — Israel Announces Major New West Bank Land Grab

This map tells the real story of Israel's approach to Middle East "Peace Talks."

An Israeli official sought to play down the significance of the move, saying: “This is a process… that has been going on for years. It is not new.”

By Ben Lynfield
In their latest redrawing of the map of the West Bank at the expense of Palestinians, Israeli occupation authorities have declared about 250 acres of territory south of Bethlehem to be land belonging to the state, paving the way for it to be used to expand three Israeli settlements.

The step, approved by the hard-line defence minister Moshe Ya’alon, comes at a particularly sensitive time in Israeli-Palestinian relations, with the peace process on the brink of expiry after Israel failed to fulfil a commitment to release a group of Palestinian prisoners on 29 March, and the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas subsequently applied for membership in 15 international treaties and conventions.

It is the largest declaration of state lands in the West Bank since 2004, and draws on 19th-century Ottoman Turkish law to take over Palestinian land found to have been uncultivated for a decade. Palestinians, who are given 45 days to appeal, view the measure as tantamount to expropriation, with many of them saying that Israeli strictures on their movement make cultivation of the land impossible.

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