HEBRON, August 31, 2014 (WAFA) – Palestinian presidency condemned on Sunday Israeli military orders issued to seize 3811 dunums of Palestinian land in the southern West Bank districts of Hebron and Bethlehem.
Mayor of the town of Surif, Ahmad Lafi, said an Israeli army forces accompanied by a staff from the Israeli Civil Administration arrived in the town in the early morning and posted orders to seize 3799 dunums, planted with olives and forest trees, in Surif and the nearby villages of al-Jaba’a and Wadi Fukin. The land belongs to several families in the area.
Israeli media sources said the procedure is aimed at expanding the nearby settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, illegally built on Palestinian-owned land.
Latter on Sunday, the municipality of the town of Ash-Shuyukh said Israel handed over a military order to the municipality of the village of Sair, informing them of their intentions to seize 12 dunums of the village’s land, and that the owners may file a petition against the order within 7 days.
Ash-Shuyukh Municipality added that the owners have been prevented from reaching their land for 20 years by Israel in an effort to expand the nearby illegal settlement of Asfar.
Asfar settlers have previously assaulted the owners; seized around 80 dunums of their land and encircled them with barbed wires to expand their illegal settlement.
Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu-Rdeineh said these decisions would lead to a further deterioration to the current situation, reiterating that settlement construction is an illegal practice.