Israeli online daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday that at least two settler families moved on Tuesday into apartments in a illegal settlement neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Upper Modi’in, which was illegally constructed on land annexed from residents of the neighboring Palestinian village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah.
The settlers ignored an injunction by Israel’s Supreme Court forbidding the occupation of houses, transfer ownership and the use of structure in the illegal settlement neighborhood.
Several Palestinian farmers have reported on Tuesday afternoon that they saw two settler families in the neighborhood unloading their belongings from moving trucks; the farmers were working in their orchards close to the settlement which was constructed on Palestinian annexed lands.
"We were working on our land when we saw moving trucks enter the neighborhood," said Mohammad Khateeb, a resident of Bil’in, "We approached the area and saw them entering the apartments, we then asked them to leave because their presence their is illegal, but they remained”.
The settlers attempted to use violence against the farmers in order to drive them out of the area.
According to Haaretz, attorney Michael Sfard, who represents the residents of Bil’in, at the Israeli court, called the Israeli police, who arrived after he threatened to a file motion charging the them with contempt of court unless they stopped the settlers
The settlers remained in spite of the arrival of the police.
The construction of Matityahu East settlement was used by the Israeli army in determining the route of the Israeli annexation Wall that runs through the Palestinian orchards and isolated the residents.
In December 2005, several fraudulent land purchase cases were exposed after Haaretz published a report about constructions in Bil’in.
The affidavit affirming the transfer of ownership was signed by an attorney representing the settlers, instead of by the head of Bil’in, as is customary, Haaretz said.
The annexation wall under construction runs through Bil’in village, separating it from substantial parts of its land, including the portion on which Matityahu East was illegally constructed.
The route of the Wall was determined in accordance with the boundaries of the Matityahu East illegal settlement.
Settlers also grabbed private Palestinian land and leased it to building contractors run by settler leaders in order to create “facts” on the ground and annexed the Palestinian land there.