Israel begins constructing new ‘settler-only’ roads to strangle Palestinians around Hebron

Yasmine Osama Farag , Thursday 4 Jan 2024

The Israeli occupation forces began constructing colonial roads on Palestinian citizens’ lands in Hebron's Masafer Yatta, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Hebron
Escorted by soldiers, thousands of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and their properties in Hebron while raiding the city centre to celebrate Shabbat Chayei Sarah. Photo courtesy of Nicola Perugini.

 

Coordinator of the Popular and National Committees to Resist the Wall and Settlements, Ratib Al-Jabour, said the occupation forces are working to build "new colonial roads" and complete other roads at the expense of Palestinian lands in Masafer Yatta.

Masafer Yatta is a collection of 19 Palestinian hamlets in the Hebron Governorate in the southern West Bank.

It is located between 14 and 24 kilometres south of the city of Hebron in the southern Hebron Hills.

Al-Jabour explained that these roads will connect the Carmiel and Ma'on settlements around Hebron.

Another road, he said, was being constructed between the Bnei Hefer settlement and the Birin area, northeast of Yatta, and a third road between the Otnael settlement, west of Yatta toward Khallet Al-Farra.

Al-Jabour pointed out that the occupation fired a heavy barrage of sound bombs and poisonous gas in the Al-Thaala area, east of Yatta, toward civilians who were protesting the construction of these colonial roads in their lands.

Israel has planted 700 heavily armed and extremely violent Israeli settlers in the middle of Hebron among 160,000 Palestinian residents of the city under the guise of "a dual claim" to the Abraham Sanctuary.

Apartheid Israel

 

The West Bank has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War.

In the 1990s, Israel started expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Israel also built a massive separation wall, which cut Palestinian towns from each other and East Jerusalem.

In recent years, Israel built an expansive network of Jewish-only roads which bypass major Palestinian population centres.

Israel has dramatically increased the pace of settlement construction after the US-brokered peace talks collapsed for good in 2014.

Today, more than 700,000 Jewish settlers – 10 percent of the nearly 7 million Jewish population of Israel – now live in 150 settlements and 128 outposts dotting the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to the Guardian, the number of settlers will grow by 500,000 in the next five years, putting a two-state solution further out of reach than ever.

Israeli rights group Peace Now stated that since Benjamin Netanyahu returned as the head of the most rightwing government in Israeli history, the Israeli government issued approvals for constructing the highest number of settlement units in the West Bank on record – 13,000 – in 2023. 

Settler Terrorism
 

Israeli settlers killed at least 10 Palestinians and torched dozens of homes in the occupied West Bank in 2023, making it the "most violent" year on record for settler attacks, the Israeli Yesh Din watchdog said Monday.

The watchdog considered settler violence to be a part of the policies of the Israeli government, whose ruling coalition includes settlers and ultra-nationalist hardliners. 

The Israeli crackdown and nightly raids on various Palestinian towns and villages, including Hebron, in the West Bank since the start of the war on Gaza has left at least 317 killed,  according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Last month, the United States said it would refuse visas for "extremist" Israeli settlers who have carried out deadly attacks on Palestinians.

More than 520 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank in 2023, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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