Friday, December 17, 2010

Palestinian land appropriated for train

Civil Administration to use 12 acres of land from village of Beit Iksa for work conducted in area by Israel Railways. 'We couldn't find an alternative,' official explains 

The Civil Administration has decided to appropriate about 12 acres of land from the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa, located near the Ramot neighborhood and the Jerusalem separation fence, to improve train infrastructure and set up access roads for work conducted by Israel Railways in the area.
According to a statement issued by the administration, the appropriation of 7 acres will be temporary and they will be returned to the village's residents after about five years. The remaining 5 acres used for the train route will be appropriated for good.
Israel Railways began planning the new route several years ago, but the Civil Administration decision was published only a few weeks ago. Beit Iksa's residents were informed of the decision and of their options to appeal it, and are expected to receiving compensation in the future.
The appropriation process, which was approved by the administration, is being conducted after an examination of alternatives, the importance of the appropriation and whether it does not violate international law. Israel Railways is slated to hand over to the administration financial guarantees, which will be received by the land owners according to their value. 

An Israel Railway official explained that several alternatives had been looked into, but that no other solution had been found. A request to appropriate land was approved by the Civil Administration.
"What we asked for was approved. We asked for the minimum required to carry out the project," the official said.

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