Palestinian Intelligence Foils Israeli Covert Land Grab Operations

Palestinian Intelligence Foils Israeli Covert Land Grab Operations

Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 - 10:45
A general view shows a Star of David near buildings in the Israeli settlement of Maale Edumim, in the occupied West Bank December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Ramallah- Asharq Al Awsat
Palestinian intelligence services foiled attempts on facilitating Israeli land grabs in the West Bank and arrested a network of spies specialized in this field.

Intelligence said investigations led to the arrest of a number of suspects, who provided important information, evidence and documents involving land plots in some West Bank northern provinces.

A General Intelligence statement said the ring arrested was in the process of striking several deals in favor with Israeli parties, they were arrested before sealing an agreement.

Intelligence taskforces immediately began, in partnership with the competent authorities, to fight back and halt all illicit actions aiding in Israel’s expanded appropriation of Palestinian land.

Israeli authorities continue to advance illegal settlements across the West Bank, a move condemned by the international community.

It is worth noting that the arrests are not the first of its kind, and have come in light of growing number of Israeli attempts to compromise Palestinians devastated by dire conditions.

General Intelligence called on citizens to be highly vigilant about any sales contracts or agencies contacting them to seal deals for land plots and immediately contact concerned authorities in any case of suspicion.

Reporting doubtful activity is aimed at preventing any sale of Palestinian land with a chance to deliver more area to occupation forces illegally.

The Palestinian Authority, for many years, had begun a somewhat complex proxy war with brokers and land dealers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem who do Israel’s bidding on acquiring more land plots.

More so, punitive measures have been amped up against anyone handed a sentence on cooperation with Israeli parties to ease land grabs into Palestinian territories. Sentences now include intensive labor and life in prison.

Ramallah authorities are saving no effort in putting an end to Israeli occupation advances. They slam Palestinians who aid in land grabs as a ‘shameful phenomenon.’

However, intelligence services still find it extremely difficult to trace these operations because of their excessive confidentiality or use of legal loopholes.

In many cases, Israelis wait long years before declaring the purchase in the West Bank. In that time, the seller would have either died or fled abroad.

Earlier, David Perry, chairman of the Elad settlement group, acknowledged that they sometimes send mediators who say they are Arabs from countries or organizations to persuade Arabs to sell their land and homes in Jerusalem.

Israelis have often found Palestinians ready to sell their land for large sums of money, but also met other families who refuse to sell their property even for meteoric rates. Some offers that were turned down were as absurd as a million dollars per meter.

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