BETHLEHEM, April 16, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday denied a Palestinian farmer access into his farmland near al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, said security sources.
A group of settlers from Neve Daniyyel, an illegal Israeli settlement to the southwest of Bethlehem, denied Ibrahim Salah access into his land and farmed it.
Al-Khader is an agricultural town known for its grape vines. Israel has seized thousands of acres of the town’s land and uprooted olive trees for settlement, bypass road and wall construction.
Israel has seized large tracts of land, estimated at 20,000 dunums, for the construction of the apartheid wall and the settlements of Efrat, Elazar and Neve Daniyyel.
These settlements cover about 2,800 dunums and form a part of the larger Gush Etzion settlement bloc, which houses over than 60,000 settlers.
Only 745 and 457 dunums of the town land are classified as Area A and Area B respectively under the Oslo Accords. The remaining part is classified as Area C, where Israel retains full civil and military control.
As a result, the town is unable to expand to accommodate its growing population.
Israeli settlers have frequently targeted Palestinian farmers from al-Khader, obstructing their access to their farmlands and forcing them to take long mountainous routes to harvest their crops and tend their fields.
In March 2016, settlers from Neve Daniyeel settlement hurled stones at a Palestinian house in Shoshala village, adjacent to al-Khader, and sprayed anti-Palestinian racist slogans on the walls of the house.
The settlements are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which establishes that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. The Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are illegal under international law.