HEBRON, Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today destroyed and blocked all roads linking the villages of Masafer Yatta area, south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, with one another, according to local sources.
Coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committees, Rateb al-Jabour, said that Israeli forces used a bulldozer to level and close the agricultural and main roads that connect Khallet Ad-Dabi‘ and Shi‘b al-Butum communities with the other hamlets.
He added that the move is intended to further tighten restrictions on the villagers’ movement and force them out of their lands in favor of colonial settlement expansion in the southern Hebron hills.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for Human Rights, a group of activists allied to document human rights abuses in Palestine, said that since the early morning, Israeli forces used a big military bulldozer to block and demolish several agricultural and main roads connecting more than 17 villages in Masafer Yatta, and cut off the water network to these villages.
“The situation is more than difficult in these areas without having the roads blocked. And imagine what the situation will be after this barbarian behavior by the occupation forces. Thousands of people lost their access to other places and they will be living in harsh conditions after today,” added the group in a press statement.
Masafer Yatta is a collection of almost 19 hamlets which rely heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood.
Located in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli administrative and military control, the area has been subjected to repeated Israeli violations by settlers and soldiers targeting their main source of living - livestock.
It has been designated as a closed Israeli military zone for training since 1980s and accordingly referred to as Firing Zone 918.
Israeli violations against the area include demolition of animal barns, homes and residential structures. Issuance of construction permits by Israel to local Palestinians in the area is non-existent.