On Tuesday, many illegal paramilitary Israeli colonizers installed tents on Palestinian lands in Deir Estia town, west of Salfit in the central West Bank, in preparation for annexing them.

Nathmi Salman, a local nonviolent activist against the colonialist activities, said the paramilitary colonizers came from the nearby Havat Yair colony, built on stolen Palestinian lands in Deir Istiya.

Salman added that the colonizers installed the tents in the Khirbet Shehada area to link the lands with illegal colonies and outposts on Palestinian lands between Deir Istiya and Qarawat Bani Hassan by blocking streets and severing the contiguity of Palestinian farmlands in the two towns.

Khirbat Shehada is about 3000 Dunams subject to constant violations by the colonizers trying to take them away from the Palestinian villages and farmers, especially after the colonizers installed Havat Yair.

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, and 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.”