BETHLEHEM, Thursday, May 20, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today leveled a tract of land belonging to the villagers of Kisan, east of Bethlehem city, to make room for colonial settlement construction, according to a local official.
Deputy Mayor of Kisan, Ahmad Ghazzal, said that a group of settlers razed a tract of the villagers’ land, west of the village and adjacent to the creeping colonial settlement of Ibei Hanahal, to make room for the expansion of the settlement.
He added that they were informed by the so-called Israeli Civil Administration, the name Israel gives to the body administering its military occupation of the West Bank, that the settlers’ move is intended to make room for the construction of over 20 new setter units.
He pointed that settlers have recurrently forced out Palestinian shepherds from the seized land and denied them access to it.
Located 11 kilometers to the south of Bethlehem city, Kisan has a population of some 600 and occupies a total area of 133,330 dunams.
Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given limied control over a tiny pocket of land occupying 112 dunams, accounting for less than 1 percent of the village’s total area. Israel maintains control over 108,952, classified as Area C, accounting for 81.7 percent. The remaining part of 24,266 dunams, accounting for 18 percent, is classified as nature reserve.
Israel has established three colonial settlements, namely Ma‘ale Amos and Mizpe Shalem besides to the settlement outpost ofIbei Hanahal on lands confiscated from the village. It has confiscated further land for the construction of settler-only by-pass road no. 901 and road no. 3698, which extend for 16.1 kilometers on the village land.
Israel has constructed a section of the apartheid wall, confiscating and isolating some 87,344 dunams of fertile land, accounting for 65.5 percent of the village total area, for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.