Official: Israel to confiscate more land in Nablus

12:00 Jun 26 2013 Kafr Qalil

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military plans to confiscate 379 dunums of Palestinian land near Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said Wednesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities, said Israel's military commander in the West Bank Nitsan Alon issued the decision to confiscate the land in Kafr Qalil.

The land belongs to Muhammad Abu Zarur, Samih Sadqa, Bassam al-Shaqa, Abdul Fattah Kashkash, Muhammad Qani, Kathem Abdul Ghani and Jamil Khader and his brothers, Daghlas told Ma'an.

Daghlas said the Israeli military cited security reasons for the confiscation.

An Israeli military spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nablus Mayor Jibrin al-Bakri said the Israeli government was speeding up land confiscation in the West Bank, particularly in areas near Israeli settlements.

Al-Bakri said that in recent weeks, Israel had announced the confiscation of over 950 dunums in Nablus villages including Azmut, Huwwara, Awarta, Rujeib and al-Naqura.

He said the issue was an obstacle to peace talks and to US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

The Nablus municipality is exerting efforts to ease residents' suffering, particularly amid constant attacks by Israeli settlers, the mayor added.

Al-Bakri called on the Israeli government to rein in its settlers and stop their brutality.
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