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Armed settlers bar farmers from land

Nov. 22, 2010 11:33 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 23, 2010 9:43 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Armed settlers stopped Palestinian farmers from working on their land in the West Bank village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, Monday, officials said.

Mofeed Jameel, the secretary of Qaryut's village council, said gun-wielding Israelis from the settlement of Shilo ordered the farmers to leave farmland surrounding the settlement.

He added that residents of the village have a decision from the Israeli Attorney General that allows them to work on the land in question, an area of about 50 dunums.

Palestinian Authority settlement affairs officer Ghassan Doughlas confirmed the incident and also alleged that Israeli soldiers were present with the settlers.

Settlement expansion observed

Also on Monday, witnesses spotted settlers expanding the settlement of Alei Zahav, which is built on land belonging to the villages of Kafr Ad-Dik and Deir Ballut, in Salfit governorate.

Raed Muwqadi, a researcher with the Palestinian Land Research Center, said the settlers bulldozed large areas of olive groves in order to build new housing units for the settlement.

Kafr Ad-Dik Mayor Jamal Ad-Dik said most of the bulldozed lands are owned by the Ad-Dik family. He called on the international Red Cross and the human rights organizations to intervene to stop settlers' attacks on Palestinian lands in the area.

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