HEBRON, Friday, December 17, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today set up a new outpost on Palestinian-owned land located adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba to the east of Hebron city, in the southern occupied West Bank, which is usually a prelude to building a new illegal settlement, according to local sources.
Local sources said dozens of settlers set up a caravan and tents on a hill belonging to a local Palestinian resident in the area, in an apparent prelude to taking over the land for the benefit of settlement expansion.
Local resident Atta Jaber told WAFA settlers are trying to take over more land under the pretext of state-owned or being located in area C, under full Israeli military rule, with the intention of expanding existing settlements.
Israeli army who provided settlers with protection reportedly chased after journalists and prevented them from covering the incident.
The establishment of settlements on the West Bank violates international humanitarian law, which establishes the principles applied during war and occupation. Moreover, the settlements lead to the infringement of international human rights law, said the Israeli information center for human rights in occupied territories, B’Tselem.
Israel has used a complex legal and bureaucratic mechanism to take control of more than fifty percent of the land in the West Bank. This land was used mainly to establish settlements and create reserves of land for the future expansion of the settlements, it said.
The principal tool used to take control of land is to declare it "state land." This process began in 1979 and is based on a manipulative implementation of the Ottoman Lands Law of 1858, which applied in the area at the time of occupation. Other methods employed by Israel to take control of land include seizure for military needs, declaration of land as "abandoned assets," and the expropriation of land for public needs. Each of these are based on a different legal foundation, said B’Tselem.
"Israel uses the seized lands to benefit the settlements while prohibiting the Palestinian public from using them in any way. This use is forbidden and illegal in itself, even if the process by which the lands were taken were fair and in accordance with international and Jordanian law. As the occupier in the Occupied Territories, Israel is not permitted to ignore the needs of an entire population and to use land intended for public needs solely to benefit the settlers, it said.