On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers invaded and surveyed large areas of Palestinian lands in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, and annexed them before preventing the Palestinians from entering them.

Ahmad Ghazal, a local nonviolent activist, said the soldiers invaded and surveyed massive areas of land in Wadi al-Hajjar, Thahrat al-Mizrab, Thahrat at-Teena, and Khallet al-Hadad, and placed red markers on them.

Ghazal added that the Israeli army informed the Mayor, Mousa Obeyyat, that the lands are now off-limits to the Palestinians, and any person who enters them would be subject to prosecution.

Kisan is subject to frequent violations by Israeli soldiers and illegal colonialist settlers; the violations include demolishing homes and structures, uprooting lands, and annexing the lands so that Israel can build and expand its 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”.