Israeli forces and settlers today prevented Palestinian farmers from tending their farmlands in at-Tabaqa village, west of Hebron, according to local sources.
Mayor of the neighboring village of Deir Samet, Shaheen Rayan, said that Israeli soldiers and settlers prevented Palestinian farmers from cultivating their land in the village.
The settlers came from the encroaching colonial settlement of Nahal Nagahot, which overlooks the lands of Deir Samet and Beit Awwa villages.
Shaheen added that settlers deny farmers access to their land on an almost daily basis under the flimsy pretext that the land is located in the so-called Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the West Bank. The settlers aid to seize the land for the benefit of colonial settlement expansion.
Meanwhile, Israeli troops and officers of the so-called Israeli Civil Administration sealed off several agricultural roads in the southern Hebron hills. One of the roads leads to Shi’b al Butum, one of the hamlets making up Masafer Yatta.
“The policy of blocking roads always happened against Palestinian communities as collective punishment in the so-called Area C,” Alliance for Human Rights, a group of activists allied to document human rights abuses in Palestine, commented.
Masafer Yatta is a collection of almost 19 hamlets which rely heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood.
Located in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli administrative and military control, the area has been subjected to repeated Israeli violations by settlers and soldiers targeting their main source of living – livestock.
It has been designated as a closed Israeli military zone for training since 1980s and accordingly referred to as Firing Zone 918.
Israeli violations against the area include demolition of animal barns, homes and residential structures. Issuance of construction permits by Israel to local Palestinians in the area is non-existent.
There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency