Israel announced that it will appropriate 400 hectares, or about 988 acres, of land in the West Bank in a region known as Gevaot, near the area where three Israeli teenagers were abducted and killed in June. The land claim is being described as the biggest in 30 years. Critics said the land was being taken to build new settlements, but the Israeli military did not provide any reason for the action. Reuters reports that a U.S. State Department official called the move "counterproductive" and urged Israel to reverse the decision. Israel and Hamas recently agreed to a truce over fighting in Gaza that had intensified since the Israelis launched an offensive in July. Palestinians see settlements as obstacles to creating a state of Palestine.