Friday and Saturday, Israeli soldiers started bulldozing farmlands belonging to Palestinian families from Sabastia village, near Nablus, in an operation that aims to expand the nearby Shavei Shomron Settlement.
Resident Fayez Mohannad Abu Ghazal reported that soldiers confiscated over half of his land and used military bulldozers to uproot his olive trees.

He added that the soldiers have given no consideration to how this will affect the livelihood of the families that depend on the land.

According to army sources, the orchards were annexed for “security reasons”. Annexing the orchards means for space for the illegal settlement and its “security zone” that surrounds it.

Several residents from the village are trying to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court in an attempt to stop the bulldozing and annexing of their orchards for settlement expansion.

The Court, however, refused to recognize the Palestinian right to its own land, and decided to allow the resumption of land confiscation and settlement expansion.

The residents call on human rights organizations to take the needed procedures to stop and expose the Israeli violations.

All settlements remain illegal under international law, although Israel continues its refusal to recognize this fact.