Israeli authorities conducted a land survey of a Palestinian-owned piece of land belonging to the Sbeih family, in Harmala village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Tuesday.

Owner and local resident Nasri Sbeih said, according to Ma’an, that the family was surprised by the arrival of a group of surveyors and engineers, travelling under armed protection by Israeli forces, to his land, where they conducted surveys and taking measures of the land.

Sbeih pointed out that the total space of the Palestinian-owned land is about 10 acres, adding that he was not notified of the reasons behind the survey.

He added that locals attempted to prevent the engineers from conducting the survey. However, Israeli forces opened fire towards them in response.

Local sources said that Israeli authorities conduct land surveys in order to prepare for the confiscation of more lands to build a new settlement outposts, which is another step towards cutting the occupied West Bank into two.

While members of the international community rested the solution, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements and the establishment of a two-state approach, Israeli leaders have instead shifted farther to the right, as many Knesset members have called for an escalation of settlement building in the occupied West Bank, and with some having advocated for its complete annexation.

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