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Peace Now: Settlements spreading beyond borders

Ninety percent of Israel’s West Bank settlements have expanded beyond their designated borders although much of their assigned land remains unused, a Peace Now report said. In its report released Thursday, the group said one third of the territory used by the settlements is outside their jurisdictions. It said the more ideologically committed a settlement was to annexing the West Bank, the likelier it was that it pushed its boundaries. Of the out-of-jurisdiction lands, 70 percent was on privately owned Palestinian land, the report said, puncturing Israeli government and settler claims that they it is mostly “state owned” lands that are settled. Only 12 percent of the assigned land is used, the report said. Peace Now sued the government to release the material that formed the basis for the report. Government spokesmen said the material is outdated and that anomalies have been corrected.

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