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Israeli settlers assault Palestinian shepherds in Tubas

April 7, 2019 1:07 P.M. (Updated: April 8, 2019 1:29 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian shepherds, on Sunday, in the northern Jordan Valley, in attempt to seize Palestinian-owned land for illegal settlement expansion.

According to Aref Daraghmeh, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the area, said that heavily armed Israeli forces provided protection to Israeli settlers, who stormed an open field in the northern Jordan Valley and assaulted several Palestinian shepherds.

The assaulted shepherds fled the area in fear for their lives.

Daraghmeh pointed out that about 40,000 dunams (9,884 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the northern Jordan Valley was seized by Israeli authorities for Israeli settlement expansion plans and to make way for active Israeli military training.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the West Bank. Meanwhile, at least 44 percent of the total land in the Jordan Valley has been reappropriated by Israeli forces for military purposes and training exercises.

According to the Palestinian nonprofit the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), more than 400,000 dunams (98,842 acres) of the 720,000 dunams (177,916 acres) that make up the total area of the Jordan Valley has been transformed into closed military and firing zones, with at least 27,000 dunams (6,672 acres) confiscated for illegal Israeli settlement building.
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