RAMALLAH /PNN /
The Norwegian Refugee Council said in a report today that Israeli settler violence and illegal takeover of Palestinian lands have forcibly transferred nearly 500 Palestinians from seven communities over the past 20 months.
“There are entire Palestinian communities being wiped off the map, a shameful legacy of unrelenting violence, intimidation and harassment perpetuated by Israeli settlers and, in some cases, encouraged by Israeli authorities,” said Ana Povrzenic, NRC’s country director for Palestine.
“The rapid establishment of settlement outposts and takeover of Palestinian land is choking Palestinian communities, destroying their livelihoods, and putting Palestinian lives at risk. Palestinians have no choice but to flee, leaving behind their homes, schools, and jobs.”
Recently, a dozen families comprising 89 Palestinians, including 39 children, were forcibly transferred from Ras At-Tin village, east of Ramallah, following increased settler harassment and intimidation. Israeli settlers took over the community’s grazing lands and established a vineyard next to an Israeli military base.
Some 60 Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank are at heightened risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli settler and soldier violence, settlement expansion, and Israel’s deeply discriminatory policies and practices, including its unlawful planning and zoning regime.
“Without holding Israel accountable, more and more Palestinian communities will be forcibly transferred,” warned Povrzenic. “How many more Ras At-Tins must there be before the international community acts?”