Israel Seizes 1,000 Acres Of Land In West Bank

Israel Seizes 1,000 Acres Of Land In West Bank

Less than a week after a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas halted the bloody 50-day war in Gaza, Israel announced it is appropriating almost 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank for Israeli settlers.

Israeli officials declared a 990-acre region as "state land," effectively confiscating it from Palestinians who live nearby and claim ownership. The land is west of Bethlehem, in an area with several established settlements. (Video via Al Jazeera)

Peace Now, an Israeli group opposed to further settlements, called the move the biggest land grab the country has undertaken in over 30 years.

Israeli officials say the appropriation was prompted, at least in part, by the murder of three Israeli teenagers back in June. Their deaths lead to the recent Gaza conflict, and The New York Times suggests Sunday's announcement could be seen as a punishment for the Palestinians. (Video via CNN)

Naturally, Palestinian authorities condemned the decision as illegal and provocative. A spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization told reporters it would "'wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land' and impose a 'de-facto one-state solution'"

But Israel's also facing criticism from some of its allies ‹ a U.S. State Department spokesperson called the appropriation "counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution."

Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories is widely viewed as being a violation of international law, and one of the main roadblocks to a long-term peace deal in the region. The U.S., U.N. and the E.U. have repeatedly condemned the settlement expansions, but Israeli officials believe the land will ultimately become theirs in any final peace deal.

The Wall Street Journal quotes one housing minister calling land appropriations "an appropriate Zionist response to the Palestinian terrorist government."

And a commerce minister told the BBC: "I think that stopping anyone from living in our land is a profound mistake. ... Why should I stop building on my land? It's my own."

Israeli officials say the appropriation is still open to legal review. Any Palestinian landowners in the region now have 45 days to submit their objections to an Israeli court before their lands will be seized.

This video contains images from Getty Images and the U.N.

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Israel Seizes 1,000 Acres Of Land In West Bank
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers walk along the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People enjoy the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ASHKELON, ISRAEL - JULY 26: An Israeli soldier's uniform and boots sit in the sand on the beach during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 in Ashkelon, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ZIKIM, ISRAEL - JULY 26: A soldier meets with his loved ones during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Zikim, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Ruty Friza (L) and Pini Friza (C) meet with their son, First Lieutenant Ziv Friza during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Ruty Friza (L) and Pini Friza (C) meet with their son, First Lieutenant Ziv Friza during a 12-hour ceasefire just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top R) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke and debris fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Destroyed buildings are seen following an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Debris and smoke fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top R) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bomb (Top L) is seen dropping during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 26, 2014 shows the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 26, 2014 shows the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City on July 26, 2014, as families returned to find their homes ground into rubble by relentless Israeli tank fire and air strikes. The death toll in Gaza soared to more than 1,000 as bodies were pulled from the rubble during a 12-hour truce top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to extend. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire ball and smoke is seen during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. A 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas entered into force with emergency workers taking advantage of the lull to uncover 35 bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes. They took the overall Palestinian death toll in the 19-day conflict to 926, many of them civilians. Meanwhile, the Israeli army said two more soldiers had been killed, taking its toll to 37 dead. AFP PHOTO/GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 26: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah (R) hold a joint press conference about 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, in Paris, France. (Photo by Hakan Goktepe/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JULY 26: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout provided by the Israel Minister of Defense office, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R), meets with Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon (C) and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, during an evening consultation at the Kirya July 26, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and over 1,035 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Ariel Harmoni/ Israel Minister of Defense via Getty Images)
BEIT HANOUN, GAZA - JULY 26: Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah (2ndL), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (2nd R), as they walk down staircase after their meeting regarding 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, at the foreign ministry in Paris, France. (Photo by Ezz Zanoun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(From L) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond give a press conference after their meeting regarding a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, on July 26, 2014, at the foreign ministry in Paris. Top diplomats from the US, Europe and the Middle East called Saturday for an extension to the temporary 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas currently in force in Gaza. 'We all call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire,' France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters after a meeting in Paris with US Secretary of State John Kerry and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Turkey, as well as an EU representative. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE ANDRIEU (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces at a road block just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
KAFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JULY 26: People wait for their loved ones serving in the Israeli defense forces at a road block just outside the militarized zone near the Israeli-Gaza border during a 12-hour ceasefire on July 26, 2014 near Kafar Aza, Israel. After nearly three weeks of the Israeli operation 'Protective Edge,' around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians are dead according to recent reports. The 12-hour cease fire comes as diplomats around the world attempt to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli tanks fire a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers run between tanks firing a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 26: Israeli soldiers run between tanks firing a barrage of artillery shells moments before a 12 hour cease fire goes into effect on the morning of July 26, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. The ceasefire was brokered after nearly three weeks of fighting in which according to recent reports around 40 Israelis and 856 Palestinians have been killed. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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