Israel's Peace Now movement today released official data it received from the Israeli government, validating the findings of its November 2006 report that vast portions of Israeli settlements in the West Bank are built on land which the government recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians.
For the numerous articles on this issue on the day of the release, go HERE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 14, 2007
CONTACT: Ori Nir - (202) 728-1893
Washington, D.C.- Israel's Peace Now movement today released official data it received from the Israeli government, validating the findings of its November 2006 report that vast portions of Israeli settlements in the West Bank are built on land which the government recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians.
According to the data, which the government recently provided to Peace Now following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, one third (32.4 percent) of the Jewish settlements' land in the West Bank is privately owned. The data confirm assertions made earlier by Peace Now that the vast majority of the settlements and outposts (131 out of 162) are either partially or completely situated on privately owned land.
The 2006 report was based on 2004 data leaked to Peace Now. The new data are both official and up-to-date.
"The new data, which come officially from the hands of Israel's Civil Administration in the West Bank, not only vindicate Peace Now but also underscore the need for Israel and America to vigorously work together to roll back the settlement enterprise in the West Bank," said Debra DeLee, president and CEO of Peace Now.
Last year's groundbreaking report shattered the oft-repeated claim that settlements are built exclusively on public lands. The Israeli High Court of Justice has a long established precedent that privately owned lands cannot be taken for settlement construction. Since its publication, the settlers and their American advocates attempted to discredit the report by arguing that it was based on "fabricated" data.
"The new, official data dispel the allegation that Peace Now's report was unfounded and show that the report accurately reflected the reality on the ground. Discrepancies between the original data and the newly acquired official data are marginal," DeLee said.
APN, a Jewish, Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel's security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement, has long challenged the settlements as an impediment to Israel's long-term security.
For the update of Peace Now's report on settlement construction on private land go HERE