Israeli forces, on Wednesday, denied Palestinian farmers from Iskaka village, east of Salfit, access to their farmlands, adjacent to the illegal Ariel settlement, said a local council source.

Head of Iskaka village council, Abdul-Qader Abu Hakma, said that a group of farmers from the village were denied access to their farmlands, separated by a section of Israel’s apartheid wall, although they obtained the necessary entry permits.

He added, according to WAFA, that Israeli forces make it extremely difficult for farmers to access their farmlands, allowing them in for periods of time that are not sufficient for cultivation.

Iskaka village has been subject to land grabs, over past years, for the construction of settlements, outposts, checkpoints, settler-only bypass roads and Israel’s apartheid wall.

According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), the villagers are mainly dependent on farming for livelihood, with approximately 75 percent of them working in agriculture. The majority of the village lands seized by Israel are agricultural.

Some 5 percent of the village lands were seized to construct Ariel settlement, the second largest settlement in the West Bank in terms of area, which lies beyond the apartheid wall to the west of the village.

More lands from Iskaka were seized by Israeli settlers to establish Nofei Nehama, an illegal outpost southeast of the village on the road leading to Rachelim settlement, and to construct a settler-only bypass road which connects Ariel with Rachelim settlement.

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