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Israeli forces, settlers seize Palestinian land in Nablus

Nov. 26, 2018 4:02 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2018 10:30 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers seized a part of Palestinian-owned land in Jalud village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli outpost of Ahiya seized about 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of land, near Palestinian homes built in the village’s land classified as Area C.

Daghlas added that the Israeli settlers under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces razed the land, set up water lines, and laid groundwork for illegal settlement construction.

Daghlas pointed out that despite the land being planted with dozens of olive and fig trees since decades, Israeli forces have banned the Palestinian owners of the land to enter it since 2001 when it was declared a close military zone.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government approved the illegal Shvut Rachel settlement as eligible to be added to the “National Priority Map” for additional grants and financial incentives to encourage development.

Is it noteworthy that the national priority map is a central tool that enables Israel’s government ministries to allocate resources to regions and communities that have been recognized as being a “national priority.”

The map includes “neglected” neighborhoods and settlements, which have not yet been answered in the framework of the decision on priority towns, such as in Lod, Ramla, Ariel, Ashkelon, Jerusalem, the Negev and Galilee areas, towns which are adjacent to the fence, and towns in Judea and Samaria.

In August, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that if Israeli settlers built a settlement on private Palestinian land with "good intentions" then it should not be removed. Therefore, allowing more Palestinian lands to be seized by Israeli settlers as they see fit.

Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, said that the court's ruling provides the Israeli settlers with further motivation "to steal the private property of Palestinian landowners throughout occupied Palestine without any curbs or accountability."
According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, in the year and a half since President Trump took office some 14,454 units in the West Bank has been approved, which is more than three times the amount that was approved in the year and half before his inauguration (4,476 units).

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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