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Israel levels Palestinian-owned land in Ramallah to build new illegal settlement

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows an Israeli bulldozer leveling Palestinian-owned land in the occupied West Bank for illegal settlement construction.

Israeli forces have leveled large swathes of Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank city of Ramallah in order to construct new illegal settler units in the occupied territory.

Palestine's official Wafa news agency, citing local sources, reported that Israeli bulldozers entered private Palestinian land in the villages of Deir Qaddis and Ni'lin near Ramallah on Monday, and started to flatten them which were planted with olive trees.

According to local sources, Israel is planning to build a new settlement outpost on the land.  

At least three illegal Israeli settlements are built on land expropriated from these two and other Palestinian villages in the same area.

Israel has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land to construct and expand new illegal settler units in various other areas in the occupied West Bank.

Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units in the occupied lands as illegal.

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

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent 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 illegal settlement expansion.

Many Palestinians believe the Israeli plans to annex one-third of the already illegally occupied West Bank, including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, is only a formality and a de facto Israeli occupation of their land has been under way for many years.

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