JERUSALEM, January 22, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday demolished Palestinian residential structures and sheds in Beit Iksa village to the northwest of Jerusalem, said a municipal source.
Head of Beit Iksa Village Council Sa‘ada Khatib said that Israeli troops with military bulldozers proceeded to demolish residential structures and sheds belonging to Ad-Dahawiq Bedouin tribe.
Khatib added that forces routinely target the village, placing it under siege and cordoning it off. He urged competent authorities to intervene in order to support the villagers’, given the lack of public services and intermittent transportation.
According to Beit Iksa Village Profile prepared by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), the village has a total area of around 7,989 dunums. Approximately 591 dunums, accounting for only 7.4%, are assigned as Area B, whereas about 2,849, accounting for 92.6% are assigned as Area C.
Israel retains full control over Area C, where the Palestinian villagers are prohibited from building and land management unless they obtain permits from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration.
Most of the land making up Area C is agricultural and open spaces, to which access is very difficult for local villagers.
Israeli occupation authorities have seized about 2,000 dunums for the construction and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the construction of the apartheid wall.
According to data issued by ARIJ in 2012, a total of 1,545 have been seized for the establishment of ‘Har Samuel 2’ and ‘Ramot 3’ (Also known as ‘Ramot Alon’) illegal settlements.
These illegal settlements form a part of ‘Giv’at Ze’ev’ settlement bloc which Israeli occupation authorities have constructed in order to retain control on the northwest of Jerusalem. This step is inextricably related to Israel’s plan to annex all settlements in the West Bank.
Other large tracts of land have been seized from the village to construct bypass roads 436 and 4915 to connect Israeli settlements established on the village’s lands with other Israeli settlements. Besides, Israeli forces have seized lands extending 75m along each side of the road as a buffer zone.
Israel has constructed part of the wall on lands belonging to the villagers. The wall route extends 9 km over the village land and isolates 7,840 dunums, accounting for 98.1% of the total area, from the southeastern and southwestern sides of the village.
The isolated lands include open space and agricultural lands that constitute a major source of capital for the village’s residents.
The village remains isolated from the neighboring Palestinian villages to the northwest of Jerusalem City. The residents are not allowed to travel to Jerusalem City, and the only exit is through an Israeli checkpoint established on the north-western entrance.