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Settlers exploit coronavirus lockdown for land grab near Jerusalem

An Israeli settler Monday exploited the full lockdown imposed in the occupied territories to raze Palestinian land between Rafat and Qalandia towns, northwest of Jerusalem, said a municipal source.

Mayor of Qalandia Ra’fat Awad confirmed that the settler razed a tract of Palestinian-owned land between the aforementioned towns, planted it with saplings and erected a fence around it before being spotted and repelled by staff from the Jerusalem Governor’s Office.

Meanwhile, Director of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission Hassan Breijah said that settlers constructed and paved a settler-only road and set up several mobile homes on Palestinian-owned land in Khallet An-Nahleh, south of Bethlehem.

He pointed out that settlers exploited the lockdown enforced on Bethlehem district over coronavirus spread to expedite the construction of this road.

Echoing the same concern, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israel for the accelerated annexation of Palestinian land and failure to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among prisoners.

“As we are in lockdown in Palestine and the settlers are on the rampage, Israel should take back its settlers and keep them there. It should release our vulnerable prisoners,” she tweeted.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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