Saturday, March 15, 2014

Squatters uproot 30 trees near Yatta

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers uprooted 30 olive trees on Friday southeast of Yatta near Hebron, a local activist group said.

Spokesman for the local resistance committees Nidal al-Haddar told Ma'an that settlers from the Israeli settlement of Susiya raided the area and uprooted 30 trees belonging to the Shatat family in the village of Khirbet Zanuta.

Khirbet Zanuta is located in the South Hebron Hills, known locally as Masafer Yatta, an area that lies almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords.

In the 1980s, Israeli settlers began moving into the area of Susiya and an archaeological park was established on land expropriated from the local Palestinian village, the original Susiya.

Dozens of residents were expelled, and they have been subject to threats of further demolition and expulsion. Settlers from Susiya regularly attack the area's former residents as well as other nearby Palestinian villages.

Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank with impunity.

Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.


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