A member of Israeli border police runs after Palestinian journalists near the scene of a security incident at an Israeli military base near Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, May 7, 2021. REUTERS.
Israeli occupation forces detained on Tuesday dozens of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, while army bulldozers razed lands to expand Israel’s illegal settlements, WAFA reported.
Israeli forces detained Palestinian youths in several districts in the south of the West Bank, including Ramallah, Tulkarm Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, Qalqilya, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Qatanna in the northwest of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian news agency.
In Ramallah, Tulkarm, Nablus and Qalqilya, 12 Palestinian youths were detained by Israeli occupation forces and a former prisoner was also arrested in Jenin district. They also detained one youth in Tubas, five in Bethlehem, and one in Hebron — who was injured by gunfire. Also, in the northwest of Jerusalem, in a village called Qatanna, a young man was arrested as well.
In Masafer Yatta, in the south of the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces doubled their efforts to expand the Havat Talia settlement, which is a nearby illegal Israeli settlement, by kicking Palestinian residents out of their lands and demolishing their homes.
A local activist, Fouad Al-Imour, said “in order to expand Havat Talia, the bulldozers razed land in Khirbet Umm Al-Khawas in Masafer Yatta.”
In the village of Al-Samu in Hebron, the Israeli occupation forces seized solar cells and demolished two livestock tents and one inhabited tent.
“Israeli forces demolished structures as well as seized solar cells under the pretext that they are located in an area that is classified as ‘Area C’, which is under full Israeli military rule” Rateb Al-Jabour, the coordinator of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission said to WAFA.
Area C, in the south of the West Bank, is considered a territory fully controlled by Israel, according to the Oslo Accords. Therefore, Palestinians who live there are not allowed to build houses or develop infrastructure without a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration.
These building permits require overpriced fees, and most Palestinians cannot afford them. As a result, a legal loophole emerged for Israel to annex more lands and leave Palestinians displaced.
Israel’s territory grabs began in 1979 and are based on a manipulative enactment of the 1858 Ottoman Land Law. Israel has other ways of annexing Palestinian lands, including declaring lands as “abandoned assets”, military occupation, and claiming land for public needs.