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New illegal Israeli settlement project east of Bethlehem

Aug. 1, 2018 12:40 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2018 10:30 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers escorted by forces razed Palestinian lands, on Wednesday, in Beit Taamar village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Hassan Breijeh, a representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Bethlehem, Israeli bulldozers began to raze and level the land located between the two illegal Israeli settlements of Nikudim and Kfar Eldad, built on Palestinian-owned lands in the area.

Breijeh said that by razing the land, which is a total space of 100 dunums (24.7 acres), Israel aims to expand the two illegal Israeli settlements and build a nature park in the area.

He added that the settlement expansion project will be completed through the constructing roads, planting trees and installing benches in order to connect the two nearby illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel had approved the construction of 20 new housing units for the illegal Matassad settlement southeast of Bethlehem district, about a week ago.

Israel also approved the construction of 170 new housing units for the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel, to be built on Palestinian lands in the al-Khader village, also in the Bethlehem district. Another 100 new units were approved for illegal Kfar Eldad settlement.

Israel's policy of expanding settlements and outposts has been escalating recently due to the United States President Donald Trump approving three times more the amount of settlement units than that which was approved in the year and half before his inauguration.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.

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