Armored D9 bulldozer (archive image)

A group of right-wing paramilitary Israeli colonial settlers invaded a swath of land owned by Palestinian farmers on Thursday, bulldozing the land in preparation for stealing the land and building a new colonial settlement upon it.

The land in question is owned by Palestinians of Kisan village, east of the city of Bethlehem – known to Christians worldwide as a holy city where Jesus Christ was born.

The heavily armed colonial settler made clear their intention to take the land by force, and to build a colonial settlement upon it. The fact that the Palestinian landowners hold title to the land did not have any impact on their decision to steal it. The colonial settlers were protected by the Israeli military, which has kept Bethlehem and all of the West Bank under martial law since 1967.

The Deputy Mayor of Kisan, Ahmad Ghazzal, said that a group of settlers razed a tract of the villagers’ land, west of the village, and adjacent to the creeping colonial settlement of Ibei Hanahal, to make room for the expansion of the settlement.

Ghazzal added that they were informed by the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (the administrative body that maintains martial law over the Palestinian people), that they have approved the theft of the land for the construction of twenty additional units for the Jewish-only settlement.

Chazzal pointed that settlers have recurrently forced out Palestinian shepherds from the seized land and denied them access to it.