Israeli soldiers, Monday, closed a highway linking the town of Yatta and nearby small villages to allow a rally organized by Jewish settlers to pass, according to local sources.Coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee, Rateb Jabour, stated that the Israeli army closed Highway 60, prevented Palestinian drivers from using it, that settlers residing illegally in the occupied West Bank might organize a provocative rally.

WAFA further reports that, according to international law, settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are in the West Bank illegally and are not treated as Israeli citizens.

Yet, Jewish settlers, nevertheless, continue to harass Palestinians and vandalize their property in areas adjacent to the illegal outposts and housing developments.

The issue of settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has proved to be one of the major obstacles for peace between Palestinians and Israelis in all rounds of negotiations, as Israel persists on maintaining major settlement blocs in any future deal with the Palestinians.

Palestinian demonstrations against the Israeli occupation, peaceful or otherwise, are typically met with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and live fire, as well as the spraying of chemically treated sewage on entire neighborhoods.

Palestinians now represent the largest refugee population in the entire world.

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