TEHRAN (defapress) – Palestinians protested in the occupied West Bank after Israeli bulldozers began clearing land in what villagers fear is an attempt to confiscate it for future illegal settlements.
News ID: 80420
Publish Date: 05March 2020 - 13:25
Villagers on Wednesday from nearby Qusra challenged troops guarding Israeli bulldozers as they worked in a field close to Migdalim settlement in the northern West Bank, Al Jazeera reported.
In another nearby village, Beita, residents protested across several days, planting a Palestinian flag and erecting a tent on the hilltop of al-Arma to defend it against settlers from Itamar settlement, near the city of Nablus. Some demonstrators hurled rocks at Israeli troops.
"I came here because this is my land, and I want to die on my land, but they are not letting me come near it," said Joudat Odeh from Qusra.
"They are happy at the victory of Netanyahu," said Odeh, 70. "They are coming to control this land, and we are helpless."
Scuffles intensified this week as Israelis voted in an election with Palestinians saying settlers had been emboldened by US President Donald Trump's so-called Middle East plan and Israeli election rhetoric about annexing settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party leads the vote count after Monday's election, but with 99 percent of votes counted on Wednesday, he was still short of securing enough seats for a governing coalition.
Victory would pave the way for Netanyahu to make good on his pledge to annexe settlements in the West Bank under Trump's plan.
Palestinians have rejected the proposal, saying it would kill their dream of establishing a viable state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
More than 400,000 illegal Israeli settlers now live among about three million Palestinians in the West Bank, with a further 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem al-Quds.