NABLUS, Friday, October 30, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today cracked down on an anti-settlement-construction rally in Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus city, injuring a number of participants, according to local sources.
They confirmed that a large Israeli military force, escorting a bulldozer, raided the village to disperse the participants of the rally called for to defend Palestinian-owned land threatened with confiscation, east of the village, to make room for Israeli colonial settlement construction.
Soldiers fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades towards the participants, causing a number to suffocate, and beat others, including Khairi Hannoun.
Hannoun, 61, made headlines in August after Israeli soldiers beat him and threw him to the ground as he participated in an anti-settlement and land grab protest in Shufa village, south of Tulkarm, while a soldier pressed his knee on his neck while on the ground, a scene reminiscent of the event that led to the death of African-American George Floyd after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while detaining him on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers restricted Palestinian movement through Beit Furik checkpoint, preventing more people from reaching Beit Dajan and taking part in the rally.
Earlier this month, Israeli forces quelled a tree-planting event that the villagers organized to prevent Israel from seizing their land for the construction of illegal settlements.
Such events came in the wake of the construction of a new settlement outpost on the territories of the village. Settlers installed an animal barn, extended water pipelines to supply the new outpost with water, and built a several-kilometers road, causing damage and seizing hundreds of donums of the villagers’ land.
Located 12 kilometers to the east of Nablus city, Beit Dajan has a population of some 4,700 and occupies a total area of 44,100 dunams, including 360 donums of built-up area for the villagers. A large part of the village lands were seized for the construction of Al-Hamra and Mekhora (Mehola) colonial settlements, east and southeast of the village, in 1971 and 1973.
The village depends on grains plantation and fruitful trees, such as olive, figs and almonds.