Israeli Forces Raze Large Tract of Farmland in Hebron Village

HEBRON, August 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday afternoon razed a large tract of farmland in Al-Karmel village locality of Iz‘ima to the south of Hebron, said a local activist.

Coordinator of the Popular Committee against Wall and Settlement Rateb Jabour reported that Israeli forces, escorting a bulldozer, broke into Iz‘ima locality, where they razed a five-dunum-sized farmland planted with vegetables and destroyed irrigation pipes.

The landowner was identified as Ahmad Ash-Shawahin.

Located to the east of Yatta, Al-Karmel occupied a total area of around 16,000 dunums, including about 7,500 dunums making up Palestinian built-up areas and 8,500 dunums making up agricultural lands.

Data provided by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem indicate that agricultural lands account for about half of the village lands and that the reclaimed land in the village is estimated around a thousand dunums planted with olive trees, grapes, almond and field crops.

Data also indicate that the 32% of the villagers depend on agricultural activities and that about 40% of them also depend rearing and keeping livestock for their livelihood.

Israeli forces frequently destroy Palestinian farmlands and prevent farmers from accessing and farming their lands in order to gradually take it over for settlement expansion.

Two settlements are established to the east of the village, namely “Karmae’l” and Ma’een”, which occupy 1,500 and 2,000 dunums respectively. The village is surrounded to the east by bypass ‘Route 60’ which occupies 80 dunums.

The settlements are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which establishes that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. The Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are illegal under international law.