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From the field

6 Nov. 05: Elevating the status of the Modi'in Illit settlement will intensify the land grab

B'Tselem today urged Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz not to change the status of the Modi'in Illit settlement from a local council to a municipality. Recently, the director general of the Interior Ministry appointed a committee to examine the matter.

In its letter to Pines-Paz, B'Tselem explained that turning the settlement into a municipality would violate international law, and intensify the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian on whose land the settlement was built. Among its arguments, B'Tselem contended that the change in status would lead to the annexation of the settlement and the further taking of land to expand the borders of the settlement.

B'Tselem also expressed its concern that Israel would continue to seize control of private Palestinian land, particularly in the case of Modi'in Illit, in light of the illegal construction in the settlement in recent years, a practice that has been documented by the State Comptroller.