NABLUS, Friday, January 27, 2023 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Friday afternoon cracked down on anti-land-pillage rallies in Beita town and Beit Dajan village, south and east of the West Bank city of Nablus, causing some 15 to suffocate, according to medical sources.
Israeli forces used fatal violence to disperse a rally in protest of the construction of the new colonial settlement of Givat Eviatar atop Jabal Sabih (Sabih Mountain), near Beita in addition to another rally to defend Palestinian-owned land threatened with confiscation, east of Beit Dajan.
The sources said that 10 people suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation in Beit Dajan and three others suffered the same in Beita.
He added that all the suffocation cases were treated at the scene.
Israel’s Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of the extreme-right Otzma Yehudit movement Itamar Ben-Gvir recently agreed to legalize illegal colonial settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank within 60 days of the formation of the government, the amendment of the disengagement law from the Gaza Strip and legalising the Homesh settlement outpost in the north of the occupied West Bank to allow Jewish Yeshiva students to study there.
The agreement to form the coalition government also stipulates that planning and the construction of bypass roads to connect illegal colonial settlements in the West Bank, widening Route 60 and allocating $146 million-$292 million for that purpose and legalising the illegal Avitar colonial settlement outpost would all be accelerated.
Palestinians across Historic Palestine have been rising up against decades of Israeli settler- colonialism and apartheid. The villagers of Beita have not only been protesting decades of Israeli oppression, but also intensified Israeli land pillage of their land.
In almost a month, some eight Palestinians from the town were killed and over 620 others were injured while trying to oust the colonial settler outpost built atop Mount Sabih or Sbeih.
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.”