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Israeli settlers build mobile residential units on Palestinian land to expand illegal settlement

This file photo shows the Israeli settlement of Shavot Rahel in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settlers continue to build mobile residential units on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank to further expand an illegal settlement, a report says.

The settlers, according to Palestine’s official Wafa news agency on Thursday, continued to set up mobile homes in the vicinity of the villages of Jalud and Qariot, located to the south of the Nablus city.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel's settlement expansion, told Wafa that the settlers were adding more mobile homes to the settlement of Shavot Rahel and planting trees in nearby lands owned by Palestinians.

On Monday, they set up seven mobile residential units in the area. 

The provocative move came despite a ruling by an Israeli court to stop all construction until it looks into an appeal by the Palestinian landowners against the settlers’ infringement on their lands, the report added.

Separately on Thursday, the Palestinian Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission said Tel Aviv planned to set up over 500 new settler units in two settlements north of Bethlehem.

According to Hasan Breijieh, head of the Bethlehem office of the commission, 400 new settler units are planned to be set up in the Migdal Oz settlement, which itself was built on the land that belongs to the Palestinian village of Beir Fajjar.

Israel is also going to build 110 units in Abi Hanahal settlement, which was built on Kisan land.

Palestinian water reservoir demolished in West Bank

In a separate report, Wafa said Israeli forces on Thursday demolished a water reservoir set up on lands belonging to the village of Beit Dajan, located east of Nablus.

The report, citing activist Tawfiq Haj Mohammad, said troops stormed the village and destroyed the reservoir that had a capacity of 500 cubic meters of water. It was used for drinking and irrigating purposes, he noted, adding that the tank belonged to the village council.

The Palestinian activist said a previous decision to destroy the reservoir had been halted through legal institutions. However, Israeli authorities returned on Thursday and demolished it while it was full of water, resulting in flooding that damaged nearby lands.

The destruction of the water reservoir, according to Haj Mohammad, occurred as inhabitants of Beit Dajan suffer from a water shortage and that Israeli authorities damage any projects that aim to solve the problem.

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.

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.

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