BETHLEHEM, Israeli occupation forces today seized a herd of camels in the eastern slopes of Bethlehem governorate, according to a local source.
Head of Arab al-Rashayida village, southeast of the city, Fawaz al-Rashaydah told WAFA that Israeli troops chased the herd for a long distance starting from al-Ubeidiya town, east of the city, till Arab al-Rashayida, and seized nine of them, citing the designation of the area as a nature reserve as a pretext.
The herd`s owners, identified as Salameh al-Rashayida and Mohammad Walayida, were informed that they would be able to get back their camels on the condition that they pay 3,500 shekels (some USD $ 1,050) for each camel – 26,000 shekels ($9,450) in total.
Al-Rashaydah added that livestock and cattle breeders in the village are often subjected to military and settlers’ attacks and harassments, including seizing tents, livestock and vehicles as well as imposing fines, as a means to forcefully displace them and make room for the expansion of nearby Israeli colonial settlements.
Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)