On Monday, illegal Israeli colonizers invaded Palestinian lands south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem and started planting them with olive saplings, a move the colonizers use to annex Palestinian orchards and lands.

Ahmad Salah, a local nonviolent activist against the Israeli colonialist activities, said the colonizers invaded private Palestinian lands in the Al-Khader and started planting olive saplings in the Abu Al-Hasan area, in the western part of the town.

Salah added that the lands, 15 Dunams, are owned by a Palestinian from the local Abu Srour family.

The colonizers recently escalated their violations in Al-Khader by illegally annexing lands, cutting and uprooting plants and trees, and denying the Palestinians access to their lands, especially in areas close to the illegal colonies.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.