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Israel grabs more land in West Bank to expand settlement

Palestinian students from Birzeit University hurl stones amid clashes with Israeli forces following a demonstration near the settlement of Beit El, close to Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank, August 17, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Israel has confiscated more Palestinian land to expand settlements and a road project in the occupied West Bank.

Local official Mohamed Abul-Sheikh said on Monday that Israeli soldiers escorted heavy machinery that bulldozed a vast tract of land to expand the road, which was initially built in the area between Qalqilya and Nablus cities in 2019.

The expansion project will be carried out on lands recently seized from Palestinians in the town of Azzun, Qalqilya city and the village of Nabi Ilyas. 

Throughout the years, Israel has frequently demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Tel Aviv regime even orders the Palestinian owners to tear down their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israeli authorities either demolish or seize Palestinian property in the West Bank and East al-Quds, a trend which has led to the displacement of a large number of Palestinians in recent months.

According to the OCHA recent report, Israel has demolished more than 420 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank so far this year.

Separately, Palestinian media reported that Israeli forces sealed off the entrances to Sinjil, a town northeast of the city of Ramallah.

Israeli restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement through complex networks of checkpoints, settler-only roads and various other barriers.

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 al-Quds.

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