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Israeli NGO criticizes Jewish colonization policy in the West Bank

Tel Aviv, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) The Israeli Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Peace Now criticized the colonization policy promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the occupied West Bank.

“Instead of safeguarding Israel’s security and political interests, our criminal government is catering to extreme factions of settlers,” stated the group in X. “The last thing we need is more illegal settlements that will burden security and further distance us from an urgent political solution,” it added.

Peace Now’s comments come against the backdrop of the cabinet’s announcement to “strengthen settlements in Judea and Samaria,” as the occupied West Bank is known to Israel.

Last night, also on X, the NGO denounced the actions of Netanyahu and his far-right partners in power, especially the heads of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, and Finance, Bezalel Smotrich. “The criminal and messianic government of Netanyahu-Ben Gvir-Smotrich does not care about our security, it only cares about the annexation (of the West Bank)”, the NGO noted.

The Commission for Resistance to the Wall and Colonization, recently reported that since the beginning of the current cycle of violence on October 7th, Israel confiscated 27 thousand dunums of land (2,700 hectares) in the West Bank, of which 15 thousand dunums (1,500 hectares) were stolen after modifying the limits of the natural reserves in Jericho and the Jordan Valley; another 11,100 dunums (a little over a thousand hectares) through three orders that declare state lands to areas in the governorates of Jerusalem and Nablus, and 230 dunums through 24 seizure orders, for military purposes, the NGO stressed.

Israel occupies 2,380 square kilometers in Palestine, equivalent to 42 percent of the total territory of the West Bank, Peace Now revealed.

The Central Statistics Office noted last March that Israel confiscated 50,526 dunums of Palestinian land (just over five thousand hectares) in 2023, almost double the figure from the previous year.

According to official figures, more than 250,000 Jewish settlers live in the occupied East Jerusalem area and another 500,000 in the rest of the West Bank.