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Bulldozers for tanks: list of companies operating in illegal settlements in the West Bank

The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has compiled and released a list of companies which operate in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which is a chunk of land east of Israel, formerly Palestine, of which Israel took military control in 1967. Israel has encouraged property development in the region and for Jewish settlers to move in, but Palestinians (and most of the international community) consider it illegally occupied Palestinian land. The tragic political impasse between Israel and Palestine has recently been highlighted by property developer and US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the century," involving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a real-estate developer. The 'deal' advocates for Israel further fragmenting what land remains to Palestinians and further reducing their exiguous political rights. Palestinians were not included in the consultation surrounding this 'deal', although they are its object.

"About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this. The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality." (BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51477231"

The role that property development plays in this and other land-grab conflicts is striking.[1] The materials used in construction are also excellent vehicles for money laundering. Property developers take over many of the roles of government, driving massive immigration, and birth rates where they can, in order to keep up demand and maintain land-price inflation. Property development is often mistaken for a constructive activity, but the reality is that bulldozers trash both nature and democracy, just like tanks. Planning requires strict control by citizens. Putting it in the hands of vested interests destroys self-determination. Australia is the victim of similar land-grabs and erosion of democracy, although at this point, Australians are still free to move within their continent. Australian state governments, Australian property developers, and Israel have and seek mutual investments in property development and population growth engineering. [2]

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