News / Middle East

Britain 'Deplores’ Israeli Claim of West Bank Land

FILE - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says seizing West Bank land would 'do serious damage' to Israel's international standing.
FILE - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says seizing West Bank land would 'do serious damage' to Israel's international standing.
VOA News

The British government says Israel's expropriation of a large swath of land inside the occupied West Bank would "do serious damage to Israel’s standing in the international community."

On Sunday, Israel laid claim to about 400 hectares in the area of Gush Etzion near Bethlehem in what critics say is Israel’s biggest land grab in at least 30 years.

"The U.K. deplores the Israeli government's move," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, adding that "the priority must be to build on the cease-fire in Gaza."

Map of Israel, Gaza and the West BankMap of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank
x
Map of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank
Map of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

The U.S. State Department on Sunday called for Tel Aviv to reconsider its decision and said taking the land would be "counterproductive" to peace efforts in the region.

Land seizure "is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians," said a senior official, who requested anonymity.

Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, his administration has made clear its opposition to settlement expansion. It is the latest stumbling block in the relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.   

Egypt denounces claim

On Monday, Egypt’s foreign ministry also decried the move. Egypt last week brokered the truce halting the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 Israelis and left parts of the Gaza Strip in ruin.

"This is not a positive step. It contradicts international law and will have negative consequences on the peace process," a statement from Cairo said, according to the AFP news service.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the move as part of what he calls Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land.

Israel's army said it declared the land "state-owned" under orders from political leaders. It is in reaction to the June kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teenagers near Bethlehem.

Israel has named three Palestinians as suspects. The murders and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teen by Israelis helped spark the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Some information for this report was provided by the AFP news service.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 02, 2014 1:55 AM
This is perfectly measured response to 64 Israeli military officers killed by Hamas, right?
In Response

by: Martin Goldman
September 02, 2014 2:00 PM
Vincent, living in a comfort zone safe from the perils of war makes one immune from harm - don't sweat the small stuff, visit Israel and "wizen" up on the conflict. Hamas is funded by several external sources regarding their weaponry and maybe you will realise the real problem. Shalom.
In Response

by: Vincent Vincent-James
September 02, 2014 8:09 AM
All our Western rulers, (Obama, Cameron, Canadian and Australian rulers are the best example), would continue to serve the interest of the Jewish minority in their respective countries, and the interest of the country of their 'First-Loyalty' as long as the following political system remains intact in the West. It needs to, it has to change to SAVE democracy itself.

As long as the Jewish minority in particular is allowed to fund-raise for ALL political Parties, and to make personal and business donations, and bribe politicians with 'directorships' in their businesses, the Jewish, (CFI in the UK and AIPAC in the USA) and Israeli stranglehold on the USA and on all Western democracies would continue to cause conflicts, wars, spread prejudice and hatred among the Gentile through deliberate Jewish monopoly of all mediums of Gentiles 'Thought-Control', the press, media, film and publishing industries.

For a decade, I have been highlighting the real cause of this tiniest of 'Gold-Pot' owning minority's stranglehold on all our Western Democracies, which would END overnight if every Western country makes all personal and business donations to political parties and individual politicians, and awarding of directorships to politicians a criminal offence with 10 years minimum behind bars.

by: kaygee1 from: USA
September 01, 2014 10:29 PM
This land was part of the Etzion bloc before the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria a/k/a as the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem. It was never owned by any Palestinians and they have no claim on it now. As to expropriation, it has not been expropriated from owners as it was ownerless. As to the protestations of the Palestinians in the area, they didn't refuse to take over the Etzion bloc laand in 1948 did they?

by: Anna from: UK
September 01, 2014 2:33 PM
Israel must be taking a leaf out of England's book, the jolly old brits got away with it in many lands.
In Response

by: CJR
September 02, 2014 11:00 AM
Anna, yes. Sadly however Rhodesia was abandoned and look what happened, the world stood by along with the USA and other Western countries, and the rest sadly, was utterly tragic. Do some research to and see what happened to a country that supported Britain in both World Wars with its manpower, many of whom were never to return.

by: C. Richardson from: Austin, Texas
September 01, 2014 2:27 PM
Another example of collective punishment by Israel. The land never belonged to Hamas but is taken from other Palestinians to punish Hamas. So is Israel going to give back land to the Palestinians because Israelis burned to death a Palestinian young man? Also, why have they not destroyed the homes of the Jewish perpetrators of that murder (as they did to Palestinian homes)?

by: Rose Lawson Steinmeier
September 01, 2014 2:24 PM
Yeah, deplore. Now what are you willing to do, other than mouth words, to stop Israel's theft of Palestinians'? land

by: Robert Twic from: Vancouver, Canada
September 01, 2014 2:20 PM
The 'West-Bank' can b taken as disputed territory as Israel never gave up its claim to it after the 1948 War, started by the attack upon it by 4 Arab countries. The West Bank reflects armistice-lines ONLY, not borders from that war, not someone-else's country. Before the 1967 War, it was controlled unoccupied by Jordan, who lost it to Israel in that 1967 War. @ that time, a Palestinian state had never existed; so the land was 'up for grabs' by whomever controlled it - Jordan, prior to that war, and, Israel, after that war.

by: will from: ottawa canada
September 01, 2014 2:15 PM
It is all well and good to "deplore" this blatant theft of Palestinian land and call it "counterproductive" but the real question is when will Britain, the United States and Canada stop supporting the gangsters who currently run Israel and impose meaningful sanctions on the country.

by: George Falke from: Canada
September 01, 2014 1:49 PM
Is this also part of Israels right to defend itself?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More