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Israeli settlers raze Palestinian-owned lands in Battir

Dec. 20, 2018 10:37 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 20, 2018 3:05 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Battir village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday morning.

Local activist, Hassan Breijieh, representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, said that Israeli settlers razed lands northwest of Battir, west of Bethlehem City, to create or open a settlement road.

Breijieh added that opening the settlement road comes as an attempt by Israeli settlers to build a new settlement outpost on seize Palestinian lands.

Palestinian villages from Battir attempted to prevent settlers from razing their lands.

Breijieh pointed out that the northwestern area of Battir, locally known as al-Khamar, was recently confiscated by Israel despite the fact that the owners have provided legal documents proving their ownership of the lands.

Battir was inscribed on the UNESCO list as "Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines" in 2014, and comprises a series of farmed valleys, with characteristic stone terraces, some of which are irrigated for market garden production, while others are dry and planted with grapevines and olive trees. Battir is on the UNESCO world heritage list due to its terrace farming and irrigation channels.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.
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