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Villagers visit farmland for first time in 13 years

Oct. 9, 2013 11:53 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 11:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Landowners from Zaatara village east of Bethlehem entered their lands in Jab al-Theeb area for the first time in 13 years after it was closed by the Israeli army, a human rights organization said.

Yesh Din lawyer Mohammad Shqeir told Ma’an that the Israeli civil administration declared last week that landowners could enter into the 10 dunams of their 500-dunam lands that are planted with olive trees.

However, farmers and volunteers managed to enter into all the land and plant seeds there, Shqeir said.

The land was fenced off by settlers but Yesh Din made an appeal to Israeli authorities in 2009 to remove the fence and allow its owners in, Shqeir added.

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