The Israeli army closed a main agricultural road that leads to thousands of Dunams of Palestinian farmlands, east of Beit Ummar town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The road was blocked by a 20-centimeter high concrete wall.The Maan News Agency has reported that the road leads to farmlands in the areas of Ereq Safy, Khallet Kammoon, and Brekot, and that the lands belong to several families, including Sleiby and Abu Ayyash.
Mohammad Awad, spokesperson of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar town, stated that the wall extends from the al-Baraka hospital, on the outskirts of the al-Arroub refugee camp in the north, to the Etzion junction.
It would lead to the isolation of more than 5,000 Dunams the Palestinians in that area already lost, 12,000 Dunams which were illegally annexed for settlement construction activities. (One Dunam is 0.247 Acres)
Awad said the villagers used to have dozens of dirt roads leading to their lands, including roads for agricultural tractors and equipment, way before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, but are now all blocked by this wall.
“These roads are all there, on maps, including Israeli maps; but Israel wanted to close them all,” he said. “Now, after the army blocked these roads, the lands in the eastern side of Beit Ummar became isolated; villagers cannot access them, therefore, the lands are now surrounded and isolated.”
The villagers voiced appeals to local and international organizations to help them, and ensure they can access their own lands, by pressuring Israel to reconsider its decision which means to allow the expansion of Israeli settlements by isolating and confiscating Palestinian-owned lands.