Israeli officials approve West Bank land expropriation
JERUSALEM — Israel’s Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that officials have approved the expropriation of some 370 acres of land in the West Bank near the city of Jericho, in a move that drew sharp condemnation from the Obama administration.
Israeli antisettlement group Peace Now said it is Israel’s largest land expropriation in the West Bank since Israel declared nearly 1,000 acres of the West Bank as state land in 2014 in a move that drew international criticism.
‘‘The government’s decision is another step on the way to destroy the possibility for a two-state solution,’’ Peace Now said in a statement.
Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians demand the territory as part of their future state. Virtually the entire international community views Israeli settlements in the territory as illegal or illegitimate.
Israel says the fate of the settlements should be resolved in peace talks along with other core issues like security and borders.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the move.