Settlement Expansion Continues Unabated in West Bank and East Jerusalem

19 Nov
9:59 PM

Israeli forces, Wednesday, took over thousands of dunams in Ya’abad, southwest Jenin, in the northern West Bank, according to the PNN. Additionally, 78 new settlement units have been approved in occupied East Jerusalem.Director of the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Ra’ed Muqabel, said that Israeli forces served eviction threats to dozens of citizens from areas near Yaabad (Um Dar, Nazlat Zeid, Zibda, Khiljan and other areas), even though they possessed official documents proving ownership of the property.

Muqabel added that the decision was signed by a military order issued in 2009, and recently adjusted, prohibiting land owners from using their lands for construction or farming.

He noted that this was a method for Israel to expand its illegal settlements, saying that it must be legally pursued, with specialists, in order to halt the theft of these lands.

WAFA correspondence reports that the Israeli army, on Wednesday, also notified local residents in the locale of Khirbet Umm Al-Khair, to the south of Hebron, to remove their residential structures and tents.

Coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee, Rateb Jabour, stated that an Israeli army force invaded the village, located near the illegal Israeli settlement Karmel, and served local villagers with notifications to remove eight of their residential structures and tents.

The village is part of Masafer Yatta, a rural congregation of almost 19 hamlets which rely on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood. Located in Area C of the West Bank, it is under full Israeli administrative and military control, and has been subject to repeated violations by Israeli settlers and soldiers targeting this livelihood.

A vast number of Palestinian-owned animal barns, health facilities, and residential structures have been demolished during the recent years under the pretext of “construction without a permit.”

Israel rarely issues construction permits for Palestinians in Area C, which forces many to engage in construction without obtaining a proper permit in order to shelter their families.

Israel has approved the construction of 78 new settlement units in East Jerusalem, Walla news site reported.

50 houses are to be built in Har Homa settlement, which is built illegally on Jabal Abu Ghneim, a private Palestinian property between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, according to Ma’an.

The other 28 houses will be built in the illegal Ramot settlement, which is also built on private Palestinian land, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The decision was approved by all the members of a planning and construction committee of the Jerusalem municipality, aside from one left-wing Meretz member, the report stated.

Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in direct contravention of international law. However, this blatant land theft continues to be met with only token denunciations from officials who could potentially intervene.

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