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More Palestinian lands threatened with confiscation

Sixty percent of Palestinian lands in the West Bank risk confiscation by Israeli authorities under the absentee property and abandoned lands laws, which some Palestinian activists say were issued with the aim to expand Israeli settlements.
Temporary houses (front) are seen in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah July 18, 2013. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which have ebbed and flowed for two decades, last broke down in late 2010, after a partial settlement halt meant to foster talks ended and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend it. Palestinians familiar with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' thinking speculated he might now forgo the demand for a settlement moratorium given
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The residents in east Ramallah have been waiting for the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice to issue a decision concerning the appeal submitted by the lawyer of the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din about a month ago. The appeal argues that the Israeli authorities’ confiscation of Palestinian lands based on the absentee property law is illegal. Fatima Ayyad, who owns 5 dunams (1.2 acres) near the Ofra settlement, east of the city of Ramallah in the central West Bank, is one of those residents.

Ayyad, along with other landowners, started litigations Sept. 22 in a bid to restore the lands and annul the confiscation decision. “This land was a piece of a large lot, which was the property of my grandfather before it was passed on to my father and my uncles. My father passed away and three uncles moved to Jordan. In the 1970s, they lost their [Palestinian] IDs because they had been out of the West Bank for a long time. We have been taking care of and cultivating the land ever since they left,” Ayyad told Al-Monitor.

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