May 11, 2009 | Hagit Ofran
Israel Railways is currently constructing an expansion to the Jerusalem –Tel Aviv Rail line though the West Bank. According to international law, Israel is forbidden from constructing permanent infrastructure in the occupied territories for the benefit of the state of Israel.
In December 2008 a plan was published designating roads for the use of the rails to be constructed on the lands of the Palestinian village Beit Ichsa.
Peace Now subsequently submitted an objection to the plan for two primary reasons:
1) The plan is illegal as it uses occupied land for train tracks intended for Israeli use
2) The plan is illegal because it blatantly uses private Palestinian land without any process of purchasing the land rights, or declaring the land state land, or annexing the land.
Today, Monday May 11, 2009 a hearing over Peace Now’s objections will be heard in the Civil Administration council.
For Peace Now’s objection (in Hebrew) – click here
For the article in Haaretz – click here
Update: In Deccember, 2010, the civilian administration confiscated 50 dunams from the lands of the Palestinian village Beit Ichsa for the purpose of starting construction on the rail lines.