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Israel bulldozes PA-backed projects

Nov. 24, 2010 4:00 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2010 9:18 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished two agricultural projects south of Salfit in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said.

Both projects were funded by the Palestinian Finance Ministry and were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The mayor of the village of Deir Istiyya Nathmi Salman saidan that Israeli forces raided Wadi Qana area near the village and declared the area a closed military zone.

He said crews from the Israeli Civil Administration and the Society for Protecting Nature in Israel arrived with bulldozers which demolished the Wadi Qana rehabilitation project which cost the Palestinian finance ministry 120,000 US dollars.

Salman added that a water canal was destroyed and parts of a reservoir and a water network carrying water to orange groves were confiscated. The fence surrounding the project was also removed.

The official also said Israeli forces raided the area known as Beer Abu Ammar near Qarawat Bani Hassan village. They destroyed a land reclamation project and confiscated equipment there. The project was also funded by the Palestinian ministry of finance.

According to local sources in Qarawat Bani Hassan, Israeli forces also arrested the mayor of the town, Abdul Karim Rayyan in an attempt to disperse to residents who clashed with the invading soldiers.

The soldiers had attacked the farmers who were at the scene and arrested mayor of the town Abed Al-Karim Rayyan in an attempt to disperse to residents and to intimidate them.

Ayoub Issa, a resident of the town said dozens of farmers rushed to the area in an attempt to fight back the soldiers.

He added that the Israeli authorities had ordered the owners of the lands months earlier not to continue working on these on the grounds that Israel declared the area "state land."

Settlers to link two settlements

In a separate incident, Israeli settlers bulldozed some 50 dunums of Palestinian farmland near the village of Jalud, south of Nablus, in the process of constructing a road between two nearby settlements, officials said.

PA settlement affairs official Ghassan Daghlas said "Settler bulldozers had overturned the lands between the settlements of Shillo and Shavut Rachel located west of Jalud in an attempt to link the two."

He added that the road under construction between the two settlements was a part of a plan to seize new land in order to expand the two settlements.
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