Israel Seizes 400 Hectares Of Land No-One Was Using
LANGUAGE matters when reporting. At the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dispute over land and borders.
Reuters has news from Israel and the West Bank. The headline tells us:
Israel claims West Bank land for possible settlement use, draws U.S. rebuke
The story is:
Some 400 hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run Civil Administration… Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June.
Was this part of the deal that ended that bout of violence between Israel and Hamas?
Repoting on the same issue, the Jersalem Post leads with:
US calls out Israel over decision to expand state land in West Bank
Expanding is far more benign than claiming. It’s suggestive of a naturalistic element.
So, them to the BBC:
Israel to take over West Bank land
Taking over is not natural. It’s wilful.
And what about this on twitter from Jon Donnison, “BBC Sydney Correspondent covering Australia & region. Emmy nominated. Formerly in Gaza, West Bank, DC, Egypt.”
Is he just showing us or telling us?
The Times of Israel also uses ‘seize’:
US urges Israel to reverse planned West Bank land seizure…
The Israeli army declared that there was no claim of Palestinian ownership on the land in question, the Ynet news site reported.
Most of the territories in the West Bank are divided to three categories: Private land (whose ownership is registered with the state), state land (areas that haven’t been worked and are not listed in the with the Israel Land Authority that are considered state-owned), and lands under survey or “admot seker” (land that has reverted to the state due to lack of use for 10 years and lack of registered ownership, but which has yet to be declared as such).
Al Jazeera says it’s a “land grab“. And:
Israel confiscates nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank
Israel on Sunday confiscated nearly 1,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land near an Israeli settlement south of Bethlehem in the West Bank — a move described by Israeli rights group Peace Now as “unprecedented in its scope since the 1980s.”…
Palestinian landowners in the villages of Surif, Husan, Al-Jabaa, and the city of Bethlehem were given 45 days to submit formal objections to the announced confiscation in Israeli courts, Palestinian news website Maan reported. If the landowners do not contest the order, territories seized will be declared Israeli state-owned land.
Such are the facts…