The Israeli army on Monday declared part of the desert area east of Jerusalem in the West Bank a “closed military zone,” a local committee leader said.
Bassam Bahr, the head of the committee to defend land and resist settlements, told Ma’an that the Israeli military had banned Palestinians from entering a desert area stretching from eastern Anata to Bethlehem, south to Hebron, and east to the Dead Sea.
The decision is part of an Israeli policy of land theft and “Judaization” of the West Bank, Bahr said.
He said the Palestinian Authority had previously announced its intention to build an airport and a nature reserve in the area, but that the Israeli “occupation preempted any Palestinian steps.”
An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an she was not familiar with the report.
(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)