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Home Occupation 29/July/2021 10:00 AM

Israeli forces quell anti-settlement rally south of Nablus, injuries reported

NABLUS, Thursday, July 29, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday evening quelled an anti-settlement rally in Beita town, south of Nablus, injuring eight protestors and causing dozens of suffocation cases, according to medical sources.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Emergency and Ambulance Department at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said that Israeli forces opened fire towards the participants in the rally called for to protest the construction of a new colonial settlement atop Jabal Sbeih (Sbeih Mountain) near the town, hitting eight by rubber-coated steel bullets and causing dozens others to suffocate from tear gas.

He added that another protestor sustained bruises after being brutally beaten by the soldiers.

This came a day after Israeli forces gunned down a 41-year-old Shadi Omar Lotfi Salim, 41, near the entrance of the town, who went to open the water main supplying water to the town.

The residents of Beita and the surrounding villages have been holding weekly Friday rallies to protest the construction of the new colonial settlement of Givat Eviatar atop Jabal Sabih as well as the seizure of lands belonging to the villagers of Beita, Huwarra, and Za‘tara to inaugurate a new settler-only bypass road.

In addition to Mount Sabih, Israeli forces have erected another colonial settlement outpost atop Mount Al-Arma, north of Beita, a few months ago, as both mounts enjoy a strategic location as they overlook the Jordan Valley, a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River which  makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

Seizing the two hilltops represents a panoptical defensive tool as they would grant the Israeli occupation with a panoramic view over the Jordan Valley and the whole district of Nablus. This is why the Israeli occupation authorities have assigned them a place in its settlement expansion project.

The construction of the two colonial outposts atop Mount Sabih, south of Beita, and Mount Al-Arma, north of the town, besides to a bypass road to the west is an Israeli measure to push Palestinian villages and towns into crowded enclaves, ghettos, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations, and disrupt their geographic contiguity with other parts of the West Bank.

The number of settlers living in Jewish-only colonial settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law has jumped to over 700,000 and colonial settlement expansion has tripled since the signing of Oslo Accords in 1993.

Israel’s nation-state law, passed in July 2018, enshrines Jewish supremacy, and states that building and strengthening the colonial settlements is a “national interest.”

K.F.

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