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Villagers start hunger strike to protest land confiscation

Jan. 29, 2012 12:21 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 30, 2012 3:09 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Residents of a Nablus village announced Sunday they would start a hunger strike to protest against Israeli demolition orders and confiscation of their land.

Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti met with residents of Khirbet al-Tawil on Sunday and called for more support in the residents struggle against land confiscation.

The village of is facing a campaign of ethnic cleansing by Israeli forces, Barghouti said.

Israeli forces have confiscated 140 acres of land from the village, which is home to 150 people.

Settlers from the nearby Gittit settlement regularly harass villagers, and farmers are prevented from reaching their land, Barghouti said.

In Bethlehem, meanwhile, Israeli forces have warned they will demolish two Palestinian homes in al-Masaara village, and handed four demolition notices to neighboring village Husan, reports said Saturday.

Soldiers gave stop work orders to two homes being constructed in al-Masara that are nearing completion, village council head Samir Zawahra told the official PA news agency Wafa.

Forces also handed demolition orders to four buildings in Hussan village.

The United Nations humanitarian envoy in the Palestinian territories called on Friday for Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes.

"Israel as the Occupying Power has a fundamental responsibility to protect the Palestinian civilian population under its control and to ensure their dignity and well-being ... The wholesale destruction of their homes and livelihoods is not consistent with that responsibility and humanitarian ideals," Maxwell Gaylard said.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Palestine was visiting the north Jerusalem village of Anata, where seven homes were demolished on Tuesday morning, displacing 52 people, including 29 children.
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