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Israel orders Palestinians to evacuate their land in Bethlehem

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)
Members of the Israeli forces walk toward one of the entrances of the al-Aqsa mosque compound on July 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities have ordered Palestinian landowners to evacuate their land in the town of Tuqu’ in Bethlehem, the occupied West Bank.

Mayor of Tuqu’, Tayseer Abu-Mefreh, told WAFA news agency that Mohammad Sawarka and Khalil al-Sha’er were notified by the Israeli authorities on Wednesday that they must “evacuate” their land in Tuqu’, east of Bethlehem City, and remove all the cattle corrals there within 14 days.

Israeli forces also seized agricultural equipment.

According to the mayor, Palestinian livestock keepers in Tuqu’ have been targeted by the Israeli authorities that aim to expel them from their land to pave the way for the expansion of settlements.

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

The Israeli regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East al-Quds and Israeli violent raids on worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque prompted Palestinian retaliation that was followed by a brutal Israeli bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10. About 260 Palestinians were killed in the 11-day Israeli offensive.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli forces demolished Palestinian-owned structures to the east of Yatta City, south of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

According to WAFA, Israeli bulldozers destroyed a rainwater harvesting well in the area of Khallet al-Dabe', east of Yatta, under the pretext that it is built in the area C, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, and forms a significant part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution.

Israeli forces also demolished an agricultural facility in the area of al-Fakhit as well as three residential structures.

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