Settlers plant trees in al-Khalil, set up caravan in Salfit

As a prelude to seizing the land

Settler groups

AL-KHALIL, (PIC) – Jewish settlers planted on Sunday trees in the lands of the towns of Idna and Tarqumiya, northwest of al-Khalil, in order to seize these lands.

Abdel Moneim Fatafta, the mayor of Tarqumiya municipality, said that a group of settlers from nearby settlements, which are established on the lands of the Palestinian citizens, began planting olive and forest trees in the Sha`b Al-Masry and Khillet Amer areas.

Fatafta added that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has been preventing the owners of these lands from accessing them a while ago. These lands are estimated at thousands of dunums and the IOA seeks to seize them for settlement expansion and linking the settlements.

Meanwhile, other groups of Jewish settlers set up a caravan in Khillet Hassan hamlet, west of the town of Bidya in western Salfit.

Eyewitnesses reported that three vehicles transported the caravan to the hamlet lands at 03:30 am.

Khillet Hassan, which covers an area of 4,000 dunums, is threatened with confiscation by settlers for expanding settlements and establishing a new settlement that links settlements and outposts between Salfit and Qalqilya.

Settlers have already begun razing and destroying farmers’ lands in the areas of Khillet Alayyan and Khillet Hassan in Bidya town under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces. 

Settlers cut down olive, fig and grape trees, demolished agricultural rooms and caused big damage to the area.

There are 18 Palestinian communities in Salfit compared to 24 Jewish settlements including residential and industrial settlements and the percentage of lands allocated for Palestinian construction in Salfit is only about 6% of the total area compared to 9% for Israeli settlers.

The IOA expands the Jewish settlements and connect them to water, electricity and sewage networks to form a settlement bloc that controls an area of up to 70% of Salfit’s lands.

Ariel is considered one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank which was built on thousands of dunums of Palestinians’ lands in Salfit province. Israel seeks to annex it along with the Jordan Valley and several settlements built on the lands of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

(Source / 31.01.2021)

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