Israeli gov’t  expands settlements & settlers step up assaults in OPT

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that although, the entire world is working together to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,  the Israeli occupation and its extremist settlers step up their attacks against the Palestinians, storming their cities, towns, villages and camps, and launching arrest and confiscation campaigns against them and their properties, while they are staying at homes due to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic. Besides, the increasing demolition of Palestinian homes and facilities in the northern Jordan Valley and other areas in the West Bank, they have also isolated about 8000 citizens in the Barta’a Sharqeia town behind the Apartheid Wall.

For its part, B’Tselem organization for Human Rights condemned the continued Israeli occupation authorities’ violations in the occupied territories without giving any attention for the situation in which the whole world including the Palestinian citizens suffer due to the Coronavirus epidemic. The organization said that the Israeli army exploited the current opportunity to expel the Palestinians in the Bedouin and the in the Jordan Valley, adding that Israel holds the responsibility of the safety of the five million Palestinians under its control. While the United Nations confirmed that the Israeli government bears legal responsibility for the benefit of Palestinians in the occupied territories from basic health services to combat the spread of the new Corona virus in the world.

On the other hand, the Higher Planning Council \ the Subcommittee for Settlement put forward a plan to expand the Efrat settlement on the lands of Bethlehem, and put it up for opposition within a period of 60 days. The proposal for this plan came at a time when the Palestinian territories are witnessing a movement ban and a quarantine to prevent coronavirus pandemic, and amid the declaration of a state of emergency and the closure of Israeli institutions that issue some of the documents necessary for the objection. Israel intends to confiscate about 569 dunums, 477 of which are outside the boundaries of the Efrat Settlement. This settlement plan aims to change the usage of lands from agricultural to building land in order to construct roads and open areas. Furthermore, to the south of the Bethlehem city, settlers constructed a road and paved it, and installed a number of barracks on lands seized in 2004.

The settlement activities and the settlers’ orgy throughout the Palestinian land is continued despite the state of emergency in the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 aggression. The Israeli occupation authorities have embarked on new bulldozing operations to expand the Shvut Rachel settlement, located on the lands of Jalud village, south of Nablus, in basin n 13. The bulldozing operations came after the announcement made by the Israeli Minister of War, Naftali Bennett to expand the mentioned settlement five times of its size, and to establish contact between the Shilo and Shvut Rachel settlements, and the rest of the outposts there, all the way to Alon St.

In the Jordan Valley, the Palestinians suffering continues due to the settlers’ attacks, houses and facilities demolition, and the closure of the sub-roads with soil and rocks as is the case in the Al-Farisiyya area, issued an order o stop erection of solar cells project donated by the Italian G.F. Company, moreover, demolished 3 houses in the Al-Diook village each of which is 120m2 and it also demolished a residence and seized 8 tents and equipment in the Abzaiq area north of Tubas after raiding the area. It also demolished a residential barracks estimated at 70 m2, and seized two pumps to generate electricity and water and 8 tents that are not Built, solar cells, 6 spray pumps, and brick units for construction under the pretext of building in military areas.

In Jenin, the Israeli occupation forces isolated about 8 thousand citizens in the eastern town of Barta’a, behind the apartheid wall under the pretext of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Mayor of Barta’a al-Sharqiya said that the occupation forces closed the Barta’a military checkpoint in both directions, the only exit for the people of the village and its surroundings. The Israeli forces also closed the Al-Jeeb military checkpoint that connects the Al-Khalaila neighborhood and the village of Nabi Samuel with the Al-Jib town, northwest of Jerusalem.

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