HEBRON, Thursday, June 08, 2023 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian houses and seized an excavator in the Zweidin community, east of Yatta city, in the southern occupied West Bank, according to a local activist.

Osama Makhamra, an anti-settlement activist, said that the heavily-armed soldiers stormed the community and showered the houses with tear gas canisters, causing several to suffocate.

He added that the soldiers rounded up a resident of the community and seized an excavator used in the course of land reclamation works close to the Zif locality.

The Palestinians in the Zweidin area, which includes the communities of Arab As-Saray’a, An-Najada, Al-Hathalin, and Ad-Deerat, continue their struggle against the seriously escalating Israeli violations, including the attempts to displace them for the benefit in illegal construction and expansion of the Israeli colonies, in violation of International Law.

In May 2022, Israel’s top court gave the army the green light to forcibly expel some 1,300 Palestinians living in twelve villages or hamlets making up the Masafer Yatta area, which relies heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, marking one of the largest expulsions carried out by the State of Israel in recent decades.

Located in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli administrative and military control, the area has been subjected to repeated Israeli violations by settlers and soldiers targeting their main source of living – livestock.

It has been designated as a closed Israeli military zone for training since the 1980s and is accordingly referred to as Firing Zone 918.

Israeli violations against the area include the demolition of animal barns, homes, and residential structures. Issuance of construction permits by Israel to local Palestinians in the area is non-existent.