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Rights body: All Israeli settlers, buildings must be removed from Jabal Sabih

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)
A photo by Palestinian WAFA news agency shows the so-called Aviatar settlement outpost near Nablus in the occupied northern West Bank.

A human rights organization has called on Israel to immediately implement a court order to evacuate extremist settlers from the so-called Aviatar outpost,  an illegally-built settlement near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

The Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) said in a statement that it considers any decision that does not lead to the unconditional removal of all settlement buildings set up on Jabal Sabih lands owned by Palestinians as “a dangerous precedent," Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.

“That may be exploited by the settlers to appropriate other lands in the West Bank and create new facts on the ground, following the same method of blatant bullying and theft,” the statement read.

An Israeli military’s unit had earlier ruled that about 50 prefabricated settler homes constructed on Mount Sabih in the northern West Bank were illegally built on private Palestinian land and ordered the settlers to evacuate.

As settler violence and Palestinian protests spread, one of the focal points of clashes has been Beita and some other villages near Nablus.

At least five Palestinians were recently shot dead by Israeli troops as they protested the appropriation of more than five acres of their land, previously used for the cultivation of olives, for the construction of the illegal Israeli settlement of Aviatar.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in its latest humanitarian report covering the first two weeks of June alone, stated that Israeli settlers injured about a dozen Palestinians including four children, damaged vehicles, and destroyed hundreds of olive trees, water systems and other Palestinian-owned property.

In May, nearly three dozen Palestinians were killed as the Israeli military reinforced its presence in the occupied territory with several more battalions.

Tensions have reached boiling point as Israeli settlers continue their expropriation of Palestinian land, in some cases defying Israeli authorities by refusing to evacuate land that Palestinians depend on for their livelihoods.

However, decades of successive Israeli regimes' economic and political support for the settler movement, including prevarication and indifference to illegal outposts, have emboldened the settlers.

Villages in the occupied West Bank often hold Friday demonstrations against land confiscations, house demolitions, and Israeli settlements. Israeli forces usually respond to the protests with disproportionate violence.

Human rights groups in a recent report said Israel is committing “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against Palestinians. It detailed how Israel has sought to maintain hegemony over the Palestinian people from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

In a separate development on Thursday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) denounced new Israeli demolition operations against Palestinian homes and structures, with more potentially on the way, in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan.

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

Israel has been occupying the West Bank, including East al-Quds, since 1967. Ever since, it has been building settlements throughout the land, in a move condemned by the UN and considered illegal under international law.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.


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