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Israeli forces confiscate road roller, detain owner in Salfit

Feb. 25, 2019 4:36 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2019 11:52 A.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a Palestinian and confiscated his road roller as he was working in the Deir Ballout village in western Salfit in the northern occupied West Bank, on Monday.

Engineer Ibrahim al-Hamad, Head of the Agriculture Department in Salfit, told Ma'an that the Israeli Civil Administration, escorted by Israeli forces, confiscated a road roller that is used for rehabilitating an agricultural road, claiming that the road is in Areas B and C.

Al-Hamad added that the road is being rehabilitated in order to connect Palestinian agricultural lands in the area.

Additionally, Mayor of Deir Ballout Yahiya Mustafa, told Ma'an that the agricultural road was opened 10 years ago, pointing out that the Israeli authorities detained the owner of the road roller, Wassim al-Azzam, without delivering a stop-construction order or notice.

The 1995 Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israeli authorities divided the West Bank into Area A, B, and C.

Area A, comprising the populated Palestinian cities and making up 18 percent of the West Bank, would be controlled by the newly formed PA, while Area B remained under Israeli army control with the PA controlling civil affairs. Area C, the majority of the West Bank, however, was placed under full Israeli military control and contains the majority of natural resources and open spaces in the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli-controlled land was expected to be gradually transferred to the PA over a five-year period, according to the Oslo agreements. Yet, almost two decades later, the land has remained under Israeli control.

Area C, along with East Jerusalem, has been the site of rapid Israeli settlement expansions in contravention of international law, while Israel’s separation wall has further divided Palestinian communities and has restricted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza from even visiting what was intended to be their capital.
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