Hundreds of Israeli settlers blocked the Nablus road in the northern West Bank, and dozens more tried to block a main road in Jerusalem on Monday, calling for the Israeli government to allow the expansion of a settlement colony located in the northern West Bank.The protest came after a group of settlers tried to expand the settlement of Havat Gilad, in violation of Israeli and international law, and the government dismantled a caravan constructed on Palestinian land that the settlers were trying to seize.
In Monday’s protest, the settlers burned tires and shouted slogans at drivers on a main Jerusalem road, and called on the Israeli government to allow settlements to continue to expand.
All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, as they are constructed on Palestinian land occupied by the Israeli military since 1967. Transferring civilians onto land seized by military force is in direct violation of Israel’s duty as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
According to Jerusalem police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, ‘They set fire to a number of tires, one arrest was made…they have been dispersed.’ Rosenfeld said the protesters came out in order to support the eight settlers who were arrested on Monday morning during the dismantling of the structure near Havat Gilad.
Rosenfeld told reporters with Agence France Presse that when the military administration came to dismantle the outpost, settlers from Havat Gilad began throwing stones and trying to physically stop the soldiers from dismantling the structure. Several people were arrested with knives, trying to slash the tires of military vehicles.
An estimated 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in settlements, in violation of international law. Many of these settlements are also illegal under Israeli law, although provisions in Israeli law allow these expansions to be turned into ‘legal’ settlements once they establish a certain number of people in new structures. This policy has implicitly supported the expansion of the state of Israel onto Palestinian land.
Israel remains the only nation on earth that has refused to define its borders, and has continually expanded its territory through military force.