Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers started on Saturday taking over Palestinian homes in the villages of Kisan and Fureidis, to the east of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli settlers from the illegal settlements of Maale Amos and Ibi Hanahal took apart Palestinian-owned land near the village of Kisan and started demolishing it, installing seats, power poles and umbrellas as a prelude to start forming a settler-only park.
In Fureidis, Israeli occupation forces ordered a Palestinian citizen to demolish his own house and an animal barn under the excuse of building without Israel’s permission.
Palestinian citizen Mahmoud Al-Bahsh said that the Israeli occupation forces told him that they will proceed with the demolishing of his own house and animal barn and then forced him to pay the demolition process expenses. These incidents took place only a day after the Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of 560 housing units in the illegal settlement of Maale Amos.
Palestinians who live in Area C of the occupied West Bank and are considered territories under the Oslo Accords are under full Israeli control. Therefore, they struggle getting building permits. Most Palestinian communities do not have master plans, while others cannot get expansion plans approved.
The building permits are charged at overpriced prices and are unaffordable for most Palestinians. This then causes a legal loophole for Israel to annex more land and leave Palestinians in an indeterminate state through preventing them from developing infrastructure.
There are over 700,000 colonial Israeli settlers living in Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank. This is in violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention which expressly bans the relocation of the occupying nation's civilian population to the land of the occupied. Israel has used a complex legal and bureaucratic mechanism, based on Israeli rights group B'Tselem, to take control of more Palestinian land in the West Bank.
They took control of land through declaring it as 'state land'. This process began in 1979 and is based on a manipulative implementation of the Ottoman Land Law of 1858. Other methods - employed by Israel to take control of land - include seizures for military needs, declaration of land as 'abandoned assets' and the expropriation of land for public needs.