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Israeli Officers Abuse Power to Seize Palestinian Lands

Israeli Officers Abuse Power to Seize Palestinian Lands

Saturday, 30 May, 2020 - 06:45
A Palestinian farmer collects olives in an olive grove on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Raba, near the city of Jenin, on Oct. 19, 2019. Alaa Badarneh (EPA)
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat

Former Israeli officers have abused their powers and intelligence to forcibly seize Palestinian lands and use them for their interests, Israel’s Kerem Navot organization has revealed.


It said David Kishik-Cohen, who held the senior position of head of the Supervision Unit in the Civil Administration from 1984 to 2007, planted an olive grove on Palestinian land during his tenure and maintained the illegal trees to this day.


He was fired for being involved in authorizing the establishment of a quarry owned by his wife outside the Kochav Hashahar settlement without reporting the conflict of interest.


During his time in office, Kishik-Cohen also planted an olive grove outside the central West Bank town.


In 1980, the Israeli army seized roughly 200 acres’ worth of land from the nearby West Bank villages of Kafr Malik and Deir Jarir, under the pretext of the need to protect a settlement outpost set up there at the time by a group of former soldiers in the “Nahal” Brigade.


Kochav Hashahar settlement was established on the seized lands shortly thereafter, in which dozens of acres of olive groves were planted and made available for settlers, the Times of Israel reported.


It said Kishik-Cohen registered his three land parcels on which he planted the olive trees with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and they were included in the rabbinical authority’s updated list of fruit trees approved for consumption from this past January.


“Kishik-Cohen is only one rotten person who worked in a rotten body that is responsible for maintaining a rotten reality,” said Dror Etkes from the Kerem Navot settlement watchdog group.


“Whoever knows the reality in the West Bank understands that this is just the tip of the tip of a much greater reality that is fully reliant on the dispossession of millions of Palestinians who live in the West Bank.”


Meanwhile, the central court in Tel Aviv imposed a prison sentence on a soldier who had, together with another soldier, set up a temporary military checkpoint in Ramallah and stole from him 2,500 shekels.


It later turned out that he had done the same thing with Palestinians. He once stole 3,000 shekels, and 700 shekels in two other times. The soldier was sentenced to two years in prison.


The court sentenced another soldier who was accompanying him to nine months in prison.


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