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Israeli bulldozers level land in al-Khader

April 20, 2015 6:34 P.M. (Updated: April 21, 2015 6:02 P.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers leveled land in the Palestinian town of al-Khader in southern Bethlehem on Monday.

Yassin al-Dadou, who owns the 18 dunams of land, said Israeli bulldozers had carried out the action even though he has documents proving his ownership.

He said that his family had spoken with lawyer Ghayyath Nasser in Jerusalem, who told them a court session would review the case on Apr. 28.

Al-Khader's mayor, Tawfiq Salah, said: "We have all papers that prove our ownership of these lands."

He added that more than eight Israeli bulldozers are currently leveling land in the area.

Al-Khader has suffered heavily under the Israeli occupation.

Of the village's historic 22,000 dunams, about 20,000 are almost entirely cut off by the Israeli separation wall and house three illegal settlements, Efrat, Elazar and Neve Daniyyel, according to the al-Khader municipality.

These settlements, which cover nearly 2,800 dunams, are part of a larger block, known as Gush Etzion, which accommodates more than 60,000 settlers.

Once an agricultural village, Israeli settlers have seized large swathes of al-Khader's farmland, and have uprooted olive trees and regularly attack Palestinian farmers trying to reach their land.

Of the village lands within the separation wall, the municipality says that 800 dunams are classified as Area A and 400 dunams Area B under the Oslo Accord.

The remaining 800 dunams are classified Area C, giving Israel full civil and military authority.

As a result, the village is unable to expand, despite a growing population, and Israeli authorities regularly carry out home demolition.
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