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Israeli forces level privately owned Palestinian lands in Nablus area

June 13, 2017 8:09 P.M. (Updated: June 14, 2017 2:18 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces escorted bulldozers onto privately owned Palestinian lands on Monday and leveled the land, located in the Furush Beit Dajan village in the northern Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces leveled the land, which locals said was privately owned, under the pretext of “unpermitted water connections.”

Wafa quoted Aref Daraghmeh, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, as saying that Israeli forces “continued for the second consecutive month to raze land in the (Furush) Beit Dajan area in search for 'unauthorized’ water holes and pipelines.”

Daraghmeh, according to Wafa, called the measures punitive, and said they were aimed against Palestinian farmers, and were “an infringement of Palestinian property rights.”

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied territory, said that "three illegal water pipes were disconnected in the Furush Beit Dajan and Hamra junction area. The pipes were used for water theft from a number of adjacent Palestinian villages and thus were preventing the regular water supply from the residents."

Furush Beit Dajan is located in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full civil and military Israeli control.

Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally, and placing them under the constant risk of demolitions at the hands of Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem are more easily given building permits and allowed to expand their homes and properties.

Hundreds of dunams of land belonging to Furush Beit Dajan have been confiscated by Israel over the years, primarily for the purpose of establishing illegal Israeli settlements, military bases, and the construction of Israeli settlement roads, according to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem.

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