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Israeli bulldozers level land near Jenin-area settlement

June 8, 2017 4:44 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2017 5:44 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma’an) -- Israeli bulldozers leveled lands belonging to the village of Arraba near an illegal Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Wednesday night.

Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli authorities had begun leveling the lands near Israel’s illegal Mevo Dotan settlement at the beginning of the month, and have also handed nearby Bedouin communities notices ordering them to evacuate and forcing them to leave the area with their livestock.

Israeli forces also installed a checkpoint near the entrance to the settlement following an attempted stabbing attack last week when Israeli forces shot 16-year-old Nuf Abd al-Jabar, who succumbed to her wounds the following day, after she stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli soldier at the gate of the settlement.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports of the land leveling.

Leveling Palestinian lands near Israel’s illegal settlements usually indicates plans to expand the settlement. However, among the 2,500 Israeli settler units that are currently being advanced by the Israeli government, the expansion of Mevo Dotan does not appear on the list.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant presented a plan to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, advocating for 67,000 additional illegal settlement housing units to be built in the West Bank to deal with soaring real estate prices in Tel Aviv.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in settlements across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.

The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law. Meanwhile, although Israeli settler outposts are even deemed illegal under Israeli law, Israel passed the outpost Regularization law earlier this year, which would pave the way for the retroactive legalization of dozens of Israeli settler outposts.
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