That is the percentage of private land that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are constructed on. (All about a few percentage points represent privately-held Palestinian land). This is according to Israeli government documents that were the source of a legal battle between the advocacy group Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) and the Israeli Civil Administration. It was reported today in The New York Times. This is a scandal and an outrage.
I quote from Steven Erlanger’s staggering piece:
Some of the land listed as private has been seized legally, though supposedly temporarily, by the Israeli military for security purposes. Many settlements were built on such land, even though it is supposed to be returned to its owners. The military simply signs a renewal of the seizure order every few years. But the military keeps secret how much land is under such temporary seizure orders.
In a 1979 court case, the Israeli Supreme Court declared that the seizure of private land for establishing settlements for security purposes is illegal. But the official data shows that 32 percent of the land in settlements established after 1979 is private land.
ps. Haaretz is reporting the figure at 32%. Not sure what the discrepancy is all about. Probably an attempt to incorporate estimates about how much land is privately help in Jewish hands. The margins matters little. That roughly a third of settlement territory has been illegally confiscated is a damning revelation.