Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian land near the village of Jalud, south of occupied Nablus, this morning as part of efforts to expand an illegal Israeli settlement.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, told Wafa news agency that settler bulldozers were seen leveling large tracts of land that belong to Jalud villagers to expand the nearby illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Shvut Rachel.
He added that this was carried out a day after Israeli forces and settlers prevented the villagers from reclaiming their land and constructing an agricultural road.
Earlier this year, a project for 204 homes to expand Shvut Rachel was advanced through interim planning stages.
Israeli NGO Peace Now, which follows settler activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, protested that the approvals were carried out by a prime minister without a mandate in the middle of a campaign for a third election within a year.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without authority and without accountability, is advancing more and more construction in the West Bank settlements at the cost of making it even more difficult for Israel to ever be able to reach a political agreement with the Palestinians,” the group said.
In recent years, Israel has intensified its demolition policy against Palestinian homes and structures under several pretexts, including that they had been built without the impossible to obtain planning permissions, while it continues to expand illegal Jewish settlements in these areas.
Roughly 650,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal settlements built in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967. All of the settlements are in breach of international law.
Meanwhile, three Palestinian youths were shot last night by Israel soldiers during two separate incidents in the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa.
According to eyewitnesses, Israel soldiers fired at the young Palestinians who were angered by the occupation authorities’ conversion of a Palestinian house into a Jewish synagogue near Ain Al-Sultan refugee camp in the city of Jericho. One of the youths was injured in the abdomen.
In another incident, Israeli occupation soldiers opened fire at two Palestinians near the village of Kufr Malik, east of Ramallah. They were arrested and taken by the soldiers to a hospital in Israel.