Israel expands West Bank settlement with 650 acre land appropriation

Israel has appropriated 650 acres of land near a major settlement in the West Bank, amidst ongoing tensions in the region.

Israel has made a significant move by appropriating several tracts of land adjacent to a major Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. Although the decision was announced by the Civil Administration, a branch of Israel’s Defence Ministry, it has been clarified that there are currently no plans for construction on the newly acquired land.

The tracts, totalling 2,640 dunams or 652 acres, are now designated as part of the Maale Adumim settlement, situated east of Jerusalem, as stated by an Israeli source familiar with the matter.


The West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, is a contentious territory where Palestinians, supported by the international community, aspire for statehood. Most global powers regard Israeli settlements in the area as illegal. However, Israel disputes this, citing historical ties to the West Bank and asserting its importance as a security buffer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which leans towards religious-nationalist ideologies, has actively promoted the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. This stance has occasionally strained relations with the United States, even as both countries stand united in the face of challenges such as Israel’s conflict with Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The recent decision by Israel comes in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement on February 24, reaffirming the U.S. position that considers West Bank settlements as inconsistent with international law. This stance marks a reversal of the policy adopted by the previous administration under President Donald Trump.

The appropriation of land near Maale Adumim underscores Israel’s continued efforts to assert its presence and control in the West Bank. However, it is likely to exacerbate tensions with Palestinians and draw criticism from the international community, particularly those advocating for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how this move will impact regional dynamics and efforts towards achieving a peaceful resolution to the longstanding conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.