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Israelis seize vast Palestinian land to build cemetery for settlers

Palestinian protesters from al-Sawiyah village south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank react as they are prevented by Israeli soldiers from accessing their lands on May 2, 2020, where settlers from the nearby Rahalim settlement established mobile housing and cut dozens of olive trees. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities have confiscated a vast tract of private Palestinian land to build a cemetery for settlers in an area of the occupied West Bank, as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with land expropriation policies in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

The Palestine Information Center, citing local activists, reported on Sunday that the Israeli authorizes had started building the largest graveyard in Azzun Atma village, which will contain 30,000 burial spaces.

Local researcher Abdul-Kareem Ayyoub stated that the cemetery land would also be seized from several nearby villages behind the separation wall in Salfit area.

The plan would lead to the destruction of vast Palestinian-owned agricultural land planted with olive and almond trees.

The researcher accused the Israeli regime of exploiting the global coronavirus crisis to seize more lands across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinians say the attacks, thefts and vandalism by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their lands are coordinated ahead of time with Israeli military. Most of such attacks are met with impunity, with those guilty rarely facing any consequences.

In recent years, Israeli settlers have been frequently caught on camera vandalizing Palestinian farms in the occupied West Bank and stealing their olive harvests.

Israeli soldiers walk past cut-down olive trees on lands belonging to Palestinian protesters (unseen) from al-Sawiyah village south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank, on May 2, 2020, where settlers from the nearby Rahalim settlement established mobile housing and cut dozens of the trees. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces block main road to West Bank town  

Israeli forces on Saturday evening blocked the main entrance to Kafr Malik town in the northeast of the West Bank Palestinian city of Ramallah.

According to local sources, the Israeli forces set up a military checkpoint on the main road leading to the town and prevented Palestinian vehicles from entering the area.

In recent weeks, the residents of the town have frequently staged marches to protest land grab and theft of the region’s water supply, which has been diverted to a newly constructed illegal Israeli settlement.

n undated photo shows Israeli soldiers preventing Palestinians from entering an area in the occupied territories (Photo by the Palestine Information Center)

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

Palestinians have also flatly rejected Trump’s so-called peace proposal as it awards the Israeli regime nearly all the occupied land on which it has built its illegal settlements.

Dubbed the “Deal of the Century,” the blueprint effectively grants the Israeli regime a green light to annex even the most isolated settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

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