Egypt condemns Israeli confiscation of land in Bethlehem, West Bank
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Monday Israel’s announced confiscation of land from Bethlehem and the West Bank.

The Israeli Civil Administration declared it would seize around 900 acres near Gush Etzion, a cluster of Israeli settlements south of Jerusalem Sunday.

The ministry stated this decision contravenes international law and will have negative repercussions on the peace process.

“It represents an obstacle to reach a final settlement for two-state solution which was agreed by the international community and to the Middle East Quartet decisions,” the statement continued. The Quartet includes the EU, U.N., Russia, and the U.S.

Hamas stated Monday, “we strongly condemn this settling incursion strongly condemn and the dangerous escalation in the operations of Judaization in the West Bank and Jerusalem; we warn of the consequences of continuing the occupation in its war against Palestinian land through settlement and Judaization.”

Israeli officials said the decision was taken after kidnapping and killing three settlers in Hebron at the end of June. The body of a Palestinian boy called Mohamed Abo Khodeir, 16, was found mutilated and burned, in what is widely seen as a revenge killing for the death of the Israelis.

The decision comes amid Egyptian efforts to resume indirect talks between Palestine and Israel following the Aug. 26 announcement of a one-month cease-fire.

Since early July, a total of 2,137 Palestinians were killed and 11,100  injured during the conflict, Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qodra said on Aug. 26. In that same period, 68 Israelis were killed; four of them civilians and the rest soldiers, AFP reported.

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