RAMALLAH (Dispatches) – A senior Palestinian official has accused the Zionist regime of hindering the construction of industrial zones in the West Bank through land confiscation aimed at settlement expansion.
Zionist regime authorities are putting obstacles in the way of establishing the "Tarqumia industrial zone” in the south of the West Bank, Palestinian Minister of Economy Khaled al-Osaily told Xinhua.
The Palestinian government is pressing ahead with its plan for economic disengagement from the Zionist regime by building several industrial zones throughout the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority is currently providing a bundle of tax incentives including VAT exemptions and enacting investor-friendly laws for investors to encourage projects in the industrial zones in the West Bank.
The Palestinian minister also slammed the occupying regime’s plan to build an industrial zone on the Palestinian land of Shufa village, near Tulkarem city, north of the West Bank.
"This is unacceptable and illegal and is being imposed by force, so we will not accept it,” he said.
Fozat Drooby, head of Shufa village council, said the regime authorities had informed the village council of its decision to confiscate large areas of agricultural lands to build an industrial zone on it.
The land owners were given 60 days to object to the decision, Dooby added.
The villagers had presented their land ownership documents through the Palestinian Authority and non-governmental organizations that provide legal aid, he noted.
Around 3,000 Palestinians live in Shufa village which spreads over an area of 11 square km. If the decision goes through, the village will only have 0.7 square km of area left, according to Drooby, who explained that the entire village falls within Area C of the West Bank.
Area C takes up more than 60 percent of the 5,655-square-km West Bank.
Last week, Zionist minister of war Naftali Bennett said the occupying regime plans to accommodate 1 million settlers in the West Bank within 10 years.