The Israeli army installed a fence around several settlements which were illegally constructed on Palestinian annexed lands that belongs to the residents of Dir Istia village, near the West Bank city of Salfit, and closed the only road that the residents of the village and several surrounding villages used to reach their lands.The violation was carried out after the Israeli authorities issued a recent order to annex large area of land in the same area.
The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center organized a seminar on Wednesday at the Dir Istia City Hall in order to weigh the measures that would be taken in order to counter this violation.
Jamal Abu Faris, mayor of Dir Istia, said during the seminar that the suffering of the residents is gradually increasing as a result of the Israeli violations which isolated them from their orchards unless they travel additional twenty kilometers in order to reach their lands.
He added that even when the residents take this longer road, they are repeatedly stopped by the soldiers and barred from reaching their lands.
“Israel wants the residents to abandon their lands”, Abu Faris stated, “it want to annex what’s left without any objections”.
Meanwhile, Lawyer of the Center, Bassam Karaja, presented a detailed explanation on the legal measures against the Israeli procedures, including preparing the needed documents and the mechanisms of filing appeals in order to reopen the roads and allowing the resident free access to their lands.
Dir Istia has been subjected to repeated Israeli attacks, which included annexing large areas of its lands. The village is known as one of the most important Palestinian areas that produces Olive and Olive Oil, and includes a natural forest with springs.
There are four big Israeli settlements around Dir Istia; these settlements were constructed on lands that where illegally annexed by Israel.