Israeli Soldiers Deny Farmer Access into His Land

HEBRON, July 7, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Tuesday prevented a Palestinian farmer from entering and working in his agricultural land in the town of  Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, according to a local activist.

Mohmmad Awad, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement popular Committee in the town, informed WAFA that Israeli soldiers denied Mohammad Salibi, a local farmer, and his family access to their land. They were forced to leave after soldiers threatened to  attack them with tear gas canisters.

The land owner was asked to refer to the office of the so-called Israeli Civil Administration in nearby Etzion military compound to obtain a permit in order to be allowed entry into his land, reported Awad.

To be noted, the owner won an Israeli military court ruling, around two years ago, allowing him to build a fence around his land to protect it from Israeli settlers’ ongoing attacks against it.

According to al-Haq Human Rights center, Israel imposes restrictions on Palestinian farmers who want to access the olive groves located in proximity to settlements or behind the Annexation Wall.

“Palestinian farmers are required to apply for permits in order to be allowed entry into their own lands. Palestinians are often denied permits or granted insufficient time to adequately tend their land; these restrictions often become more severe during olive harvest season,” said the center.

In addition, during the harvest season, Palestinian farmers are often subjected to harassment and attacks by Israeli settlers, including the destruction, damage, and burning of olive trees.

Israel continues to deny Palestinians their fundamental right to self-determination, including the principle of sovereignty over land and natural resources, depriving them from their means of livelihoods, in contradiction to Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), said al-Haq in a story published in November 2014.

“Under international humanitarian law and as stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has an obligation not to restrict the right to work of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” added the center.

“The Annexation Wall and the permit system amongst other measures and policies applied by Israel prevent Palestinians’ right to movement which seriously impacts their livelihoods,” said al-Haq.