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Israeli forces bar Palestinians from farming on their Hebron lands

March 1, 2014 2:10 P.M. (Updated: March 1, 2014 10:42 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Saturday prevented Palestinian farmers in the Hebron district from accessing their privately owned land, local popular committee spokespeople said.

Nidal al-Haddar, a spokesman for the popular committee in the southern Hebron district, told Ma'an that Palestinian farmers were sent home at gunpoint when they attempted to reach their lands in the Umm al-Arayis east of Yatta.

International solidarity activists, including Israelis, were also sent away from the land, al-Haddar said.

Land owner Issa Jabarin told Ma'an that settlers from the illegal Mitzpe Yair outpost had occupied his land in the area since 2000.

Israeli courts ordered the evacuation of settlers, "but Israeli authorities have not implemented the orders," Jabarin said.

Separately, in Beit Ummar north of Hebron, Israeli forces sent home a farmer and his family as they were tending to their lands, a local popular committee spokesman said.

Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma'an that Muhammad Abd al-Hamid Jabir Sleibi and his family were working on their land when Israeli troops arrived and threatened to detain them if they refused to leave the area.

International solidarity activists were sent away as well, Awad said.

Sleibi told Ma'an that he has an Israeli court order allowing him to tend to his land.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said she was unfamiliar with the incidents.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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