Settlers vandalize Palestinians’ homes while Israel denies them access to their lands 

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that the occupation government is going ahead in confiscating Palestinian lands, transforming them to settlement activities, defrauding citizens and preventing them from accessing their lands.

Within the context, Jessica Montiel, CEO of HaMoked, says that Israeli officials often make promises to respect the property rights of Palestinians and their freedom of movement, and this is misleading, as the data indicate that these promises are empty of their content. The reality is that the military bureaucracy is determined to rob the Palestinians of their lands, instead of facilitating access to them, as new data recently published by the Israeli army showed that a small percentage of Palestinians are granted permits to access their lands behind the Separation Wall, while almost all permits are rejected for no reasons. These data were submitted to HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual Rights, last Monday, June 29 in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The data showed that the year 2019 witnessed the submission of 7,483 entry permits from Palestinian farmers to ensure entry into their lands located behind the separation wall. Of these permits, 62% were rejected. The situation deteriorated further in 2020, when 84% of the permits were rejected during the first 6 months of this year. It is reported that 1-2% of permits have been rejected for security reasons, while the vast majority of permits were rejected on the basis that ‘not eligible for a permit’ in accordance with the Army Standards Regulations, which were modified in 2017 and 2019 to ensure further restrictions on freedom of movement.

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At the same time, settler attacks on Palestinian citizens and their properties have escalated, as hundreds of extremist settlers under the strict protection and guarding of the occupation soldiers, stormed Jales Mountain, located between the towns of Halhul and Sa’ir in the Hebron Governorate, and raised their flags on it in an attempt to seize the whole area.

In Nablus Governorate, extremist settlers put a number of mobile homes in the lands of Asira Al-Shamaliah village in the “Khalat Al Daliyah” area, basin number 37 of the village in a move that reflects the settlers ’ambitions to seize more Palestinian lands in light of the Israeli occupation government’s annexation plans, and stealing more Palestinian land in the West Bank.

In Jerusalem, the occupation municipality and the so-called “Nature Authority” of Israel continue to level the lands of citizens in Wadi Rababa in the town of Silwan, with the aim of establishing settlement projects. The occupation uses force to carry out bulldozing operations despite the existence of previous judicial decisions to stop them. The area is subject to repeated incursions by settlers and attacks against the owners under the pretext that it is ‘absentee property’. The targeted land is more than 350 dunums planted with fruit trees and perennial olive trees, all of which are private property for the Silwani people. Worth mentioning that, the area has about 100 houses and mosques, all of which are threatened with eviction.

 International stances of rejecting the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu’s plan to annex large areas of the occupied West Bank have widened, which forced him to postpone that after it was scheduled to start on the first of next July. The most prominent stance is that of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who called on Israel not to proceed with its illegal plan to annex large swaths of the West Bank. For his part, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Laudrian confirmed, in turn, that Israel’s annexation of any land in the West Bank would be a violation of international law, and the annexation decision could not pass without consequences.

Amnesty International also called on the international community to take firm steps against the annexation plans, and the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Regional Office “The settlements are created with the sole purpose of establishing Israeli Jews in the form of Permanent in the occupied territories; it is a war crime under international law.” 

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