The Israeli authorities have announced the confiscation of 4,000 dunam of land near the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion in Hebron province, southern West Bank, the Israeli radio reported.
The confiscation order was taken by the Israeli authorities as a response to the kidnapping and subsequent killing of three Jewish settlers two months ago in Hebron, according to the Israeli radio.
Mohamed Lavi, mayor of Surif town in Hebron, confirmed that the Israeli army hanged orders in the town on the confiscation of lots of lands.
"All these lands are owned by Palestinians and are planted with olives and forest trees," Lavi told Anadolu Agency.
"Dozens of Palestinians from Surif, Jab'a, and Wade Fokeen will lose their lands under that order," he added. "The Israeli authorities warned the Palestinians against approaching the confiscated lots."
The Israeli authorities gave the Palestinians and human rights organizations 45 days to submit their legal objections to the decision in Israeli courts.
Israeli settlement building projects in Jerusalem and the West Bank have been in full swing recently as peace talks with the Palestinians collapsed earlier this year.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories," considering all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.
About 500,000 Israelis now live in more than one hundred Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, in which to establish their future state.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building on Arab land must stop before a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.
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