Report slams Israeli settlement policy

09:43, July 07, 2010      

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A just-released report by an Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, accuses the Israeli government and Civil Administration, which is responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, of an ongoing policy of what it calls illegal expropriation of Palestinian-owned land.

The report, "By Hook and by Crook: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank," said it combed official government records, surveys and databases to deliver a scathing attack on policies used to establish and grow Israeli settlements since 2004.

It says that, despite "built-up" areas of settlement covering 1 percent of the West Bank, the overall area of the 121 communities and regional councils make up 42 percent of that area, according to a statement from B'Tselem.

Settler leader, Danny Dayan, chairman of the Jewish Council of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, derided the report as "propaganda from one end to the other," and told Xinhua that B'Tselem's interests were "inimical to those of the State of Israel."

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