Israeli forces closed a rural road and bulldozed private property in the al-Makhrour area of Beit Jala near Bethlehem on Thursday.The bulldozers razed 500 meters of agricultural land belonging to the Shaban family from the Deheishe refugee camp and closed an agricultural road. The Israeli military also demolished part of a local restaurant and a Palestinian home in the area according to reports from Ma’an and WAFA News.

Last October, the Israeli military issued an order confiscating 37,000 square meters of private land near the Cremisan Monastery.

Several structures have been previously demolished in the area under the pretext of a lack of building permits. However, the Israeli government refuses to grant building permits to Palestinians.

In May, the same area was targeted by occupation forces when soldiers destroyed electricity poles, closed agricultural roads, and demolished structures.

Beit Jala Mayor, Raji Zeidan said that this is all part of an effort to pressure residents to leave their land so that Israelis can expand settlements in the area. The area is near Gilo, Betar Illit and Gush Etzion settlements as well as the Separation Wall.