05 April 2019 - 19:08
News ID: 444144
A
A number of Israeli settlers escorted by troops have confiscated a large area of private Palestinian land and razed agricultural property in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

RNA - Local Palestinian media reports said that several bulldozers belonging to settlers under the heavy protection of Israeli soldiers entered a village in the West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday morning.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel's settlement expansion activities, confirmed that extremist settlers from the Yitzhar settlement stormed the Karm Abu Salim area in the Burin village and seized lands planted with fruitful trees.

The illegal Israeli land grab in the occupied West Bank is a regular occurrence by extremist settlers and the Israeli military.

In recent years, Israeli settlers have been frequently caught on camera vandalizing Palestinian farms in the occupied West Bank and stealing their olive harvest.

Palestinians say the thefts and vandalism occur mainly on Palestinian land near settlements that they can only reach by coordinating ahead of time with the Israeli military.

Most of the attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property are met with impunity, with those guilty rarely facing consequences for such actions.

Rights groups, including Yesh Din and B’Tselem, have on several occasions slammed the regime in Tel Aviv for failing to protect Palestinians from settler violence or investigate attacks.

A new report last month said that Israel had so far occupied more than 85 percent or some 27,000 square kilometers of historical territories of Palestine in an expropriation process which still continues unabated.

Israel occupied the entire West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, during full-frontal military operations in 1967. 

Following the 1967 war, the law was applied to East al-Quds to enable Tel Aviv to confiscate homes of the Palestinians who are not "absent" or "missing" but live in so-called adversarial territories.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Built on occupied land, the settlements are internationally condemned as illegal.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories has been a major sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have stalled since 2014.

Israeli bulldozers level Palestinian lands

In a separate development on Thursday, a fleet of Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles crossed the separation fence into the besieged Gaza Strip and flattened private Palestinian lands. 

At least four Israeli-armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, accompanied by a number of tanks, advanced scores of meters into the Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

A number of Israeli surveillance aircraft were also reported to have flown at low altitude over the area while the bulldozers were busy leveling the lands.

The Israeli regime has long been conducting daily incursions into Gaza and in the vicinity of the so-called buffer zone, which lies on both land and sea sides of the strip.

Israeli forces often fire at those Palestinians who work in the vicinity of the zone. Tel Aviv has not yet made clear the exact demarcation of the designated zone. The practice has in effect devastated much of the agricultural and fishing sectors of the besieged coastal enclave.

Israeli forces also often attack Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

At least 263 Palestinians have been killed and about 26,000 others injured by Israeli forces ever since the Great March of Return protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018.

Gaza has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards.

Israel has launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

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