Israeli bulldozers razed dozens of dunams of land and uprooted hundreds of Palestinian-owned trees on Monday afternoon, on lands belonging to residents from the Bartaa village, southwest of the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin.
According to local sources, Israeli forces along with bulldozers stormed the area and began to raze about 28 dunams (6.9 acres) of land. In addition, bulldozers uprooted 300 almond and olive trees.
Sources added, according to Ma’an, that the razed land belonged to Jamal Sharif Amarneh.
Palestinians and rights groups say that Israel’s main goal, both in its policies in Area C, in which more than 60% of Palestinian land is under full Israeli control, and Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, is to depopulate the land of its Palestinian residents and to replace them with Jewish Israeli communities, in order to manipulate population demographics in all of historic Palestine.
The movement of Israeli settlers taking over Palestinian land, and further displacing the local Palestinian population has been a “stable” Israeli policy since the takeover of the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967, B’Tselem said, underscoring that all “Israeli legislative, legal, planning, funding, and defense bodies” have played an active role in the dispossession of Palestinians from their lands.
Bâ€™Tselem also argued that under the guise of a “temporary military occupation,” Israel has been “using the land as its own: robbing land, exploiting the area’s natural resources for its own benefit and establishing permanent settlements,” estimating that Israel had dispossessed Palestinians from some 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) of lands in the occupied Palestinian territory over the years.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.