In a small village near Salfit surrounded by five Israeli settlements, the olive farmers and villagers are once again facing an illegal seizure of more of their ancestral farmland by Israeli soldiers and colonizers.
On Sunday, the Israeli military notified Palestinian landowners in Deir Istiya that the military will be seizing 45 dunums of land in Deir Istiya. The army also issued notices to local landowners to stop the construction of eight facilities in the area.
The head of the Deir Istiya municipality, Moath Salman, said, “The occupation forces delivered a notice to seize 45 dunums of land belonging to the heirs of Mustafa Mansour from the town of Deir Istiya, in an area known as “Jabal al-Dib” north of the town, adjacent to the “Emmanuel” settlement established on the citizens’ lands.
Local nonviolent activist Nathmi Salman said the colonizers from Havat Yair illegal colony invaded the Palestinian lands and planted many orange and lemon trees as a first step before annexing the privately-owned lands.
He added that the Nahala colonialist movement called for invading Palestinian lands, on Monday, February 6, in the Wad Abbas area in the western part of Deir Istiya and planting trees in the lands in addition to permanently blocking the main agricultural road between Deir Istiya and Qarawat Bani Hassan.
Salfit Governor, Abdullah Kamil, said the assaults by the colonizers and the occupation soldiers are part of “organized terrorism” against the Palestinian people, their homes, lands, and their holy sites, and called on the Palestinian to continue planting their lands and tending to them to prevent the colonizers from annexing them for the illegal colonialist activities.
The illegal colonizers distributed leaflets calling for an event that included invading the stolen Palestinian lands to plant them and colonizers them after stealing them from the Palestinians.
In addition, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that the Israeli authorities handed eight citizens notices to stop work and construction on homes and facilities in the “Al-Safha” area in the town of Deir Ballout.
Israeli forces control all life for the indigenous Palestinians in the West Bank, who have lived under martial law since 1967 when the Israeli military took over the West Bank with military force.
The forced takeover of land has been commonplace in the decades since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began. Israeli military forces have established colonies all over the West Bank and have transferred civilians into these colonies – in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. The taking of land by brute force, and the forced removal of the indigenous inhabitants and owners of the land, is something that was made illegal with the end of World War II and the formation of the United Nations, but since Israel’s creation in 1948, the nation has never declared its borders and has constantly expanded onto Palestinian land by using force, intimidation, and coercion.