JERUSALEM, May 9, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities have expropriated a Palestinian-owned land in East Jerusalem from its original owners and handed it over to Amana, an organization that works to establish settlements and outposts, Israeli daily Haaretz revealed on Monday.
Some months ago, Haaretz said, Amana began building a large office building on the land for its headquarters. Documents submitted for an administrative petition against the land transfer reveals that the state used strenuous “bureaucratic acrobatics” to deliver land that didn’t belong to it.
The plan was prepared and approved without the family knowing of the expropriation, the daily added. The property map was redrawn to legitimize the expropriation, while related documents were hidden from the owners.
A petition against the illegal expropriation was submitted by the Palestinian owner, but it was rejected by the Jerusalem District Court.
According to Haaretz, Amana, founded by the Gush Emunim religious settlement movement in 1979, is the most important private body for establishing and expanding West Bank settlements.
The company owns Al-Watan, which has been repeatedly involved in deals buying land from Palestinian owners that turned out to be forged.
The Palestinians want their state to include all land captured by Israel in 1967, but some 500,000 Jews now live in more than 200 settlements and outposts in the West Bank - including East Jerusalem.
The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.