A Palestinian quarry in Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, is to close due to ‘enforcement activities’ by the Israeli authorities.Although Beit Fajjar is located deep in the West Bank, the area falls within zone C, and thus is under full control of the Israeli military. As a result, the quarry has been informed that it is mining on ‘State Land’.

An Israeli pressure group, the National Land Protection Trust, brought a case against the business to the Israeli High Court of Justice, which ruled against the company.

Shortly after this ruling, the Israeli military began ‘enforcement activities’, which ‘led to an almost complete cessation of quarrying in the unlicensed area’.

The authorities confiscated a large number of items in a series of raids last year. The National Land Protection Trust has vowed to prevent any attempts to license the quarry, due to the fact that nearby settlements had suffered from dust and noise.

Mining is one of the major economic contributers to the town, along with their agricultural industry, with over 20% of the West Bank’s mines found in Beit Fajjar alone.

On October 4 2010, a mosque in Beit Fajjar was set alight, by settlers, in the early hours of the morning. In addition to the arson, settlers left ‘price tag’ graffiti near the entrance.