About two weeks ago, Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs approved the Regulation Bill, which is meant to retroactively grant legitimacy to dispossessing Palestinians of land, including duly registered privately owned land. A new report released by B’Tselem “Expel and Exploit: The Israeli Practice of Taking over Rural Palestinian Land”, presents a case study of the process three villages in the Nablus District – ‘Azmut, Deir al-Hatab and Salem – have undergone since 1980, when Israel established the Elon Moreh nearby.
The policy of “Expel and Exploit” illustrates a broader policy Israel has been implementing throughout the West Bank for decades. Under the guise of “temporary military occupation”, Israel treats the occupied territories as its own: grabbing land, exploiting natural resources, and establishing permanent settlements. Palestinian residents are being increasingly dispossessed of their lands, roots and livelihood, to be replaced by Israeli control either by direct official action or by the settlers acting as its envoys.