West Bank occupied in flames while Israeli settlers reject land return | News of the Israel-Palestine conflict


Beita, occupied Israeli West Bank – Tensions in the West Bank have reached a boiling point as Israeli settlers continue to expropriate Palestinian land, in some cases challenging Israeli authorities by refusing to evacuate land on which Palestinians depend for their livelihood. .

In May, 34 Palestinians were killed, the highest monthly figure in ten years, with Israel’s national intelligence agency, Shin Bet, which reported nearly 600 violent incidents since the Israeli army strengthened its presence in the occupied territory with several more battalions.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in his latest humanitarian report only during the first two weeks of June, it was claimed that the perpetrators known or believed to be Israeli settlers, injured 11 Palestinians, including four children, damaged vehicles and destroyed hundreds of olive trees, water systems and other Palestinian property.

As settler violence and Palestinian protests spread, one of the focal points of crashes has been Beita in the northern West Bank, near Nablus.

Four Palestinians were recently killed by gunfire by Israeli troops while protesting the theft of more than five hectares (two hectares) of their land, previously used for olive cultivation, for the construction of the Israeli illegal settlement of Evyatar.

The government’s civil administration unit ruled that some 50 prefabricated settler houses built on Mount Sabih were illegally built on private Palestinian land and ordered settlers to evacuate, arguing that their activities were destabilizing security. in the area.

However, decades of economic and political support from successive Israeli governments for the settlement movement, including prevarication and turning a blind eye to illegal advances, have encouraged settlers.

Not only do the settlers of Evyatar refuse to evacuate, but they plan to appeal the evacuation order with other plans to build another 70 settler houses, a synagogue, a daycare center and a school.

“Surrender to terrorism”

Israeli media reported that Zvi Sukkot, one of Evyatar’s leaders, attacked the military ruling, saying any regional instability created by Evyatar’s existence was no different from that created by any other Jewish presence in the area during the last 100 years.

“Then they didn’t accept our presence and to this day they don’t accept our presence anywhere,” Sukkot said.

“Evicting Jews from their homes because of the Arab riots can only be called surrender to terrorism. They should be ashamed of themselves. ”

Yossi Dagan, head of the authority of the northern West Bank settlement, Samaria Regional Council, also argued that the agreement was on private Palestinian land. challenging international law and repeated UN resolutions stating that the entire West Bank is illegally occupied by Israel.

In addition, many religious settlers firmly believe that God is on their side.

The illegal settlement of Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem, was established in 1985 on land expropriated from the nearby Palestinian villages of Husan and Nahalin. It houses more than 60,000 ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlers.

Miriam Superefin, a Jewish immigrant from Belarus, lives in the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit [Al Jazeera]

Housewife Miriam Superefin lives in the Zionist settlement of Beitar Illit in the Gush Etzion area of ​​the southern West Bank.

Superefin, married with a young daughter, emigrated to Israel from Belarus eight years ago.

When Al Jazeera asked him about the construction of the settlement in which he lives on land confiscated from the Palestinians, he was firm that it belonged to the Jews.

“Jews have always been here. There has never been a day in this country without Jews. We have been here since 1,000 BC. The Bible says it is our land, ”Superefin said.

“Since the beginning of the 20th century we have bought all the land we live on honestly and at a fair price.

“We treated the people who were here with dignity and we had good relations with them. The Arabs had every opportunity to be part of our society. We never took any Palestinian houses or evicted them. It was the Jordanians who told the Arabs to leave during the war after assuring them that they could return later.

According to Superefin, Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank was an internationally acceptable and acceptable legal norm, a view that contradicts numerous international resolutions.

He said he lived with extreme fear of Palestinian attacks, especially when traveling through the West Bank.

“When I see Israeli indicators warning Israelis to stay out of certain areas for security reasons, this scares me a lot and I will not travel in a private car, but only on fortified public transport,” Superefin said.

Muhammad Khabeisa, of Beita, who lost olive groves to the illegal avant-garde Evyatar, said Palestinian villagers would fight to the last person in defense of their land.

He said the Israelis had moved to about 45 prefabricated houses since early May. Violent clashes erupted on Fridays in recent weeks as Palestinians protested the confiscation of their lands, and attacks by Israeli settlers and forces supported them.

“I will leave it on my corpse. They will have to kill us all if they want our land, ”Khabeisa told Al Jazeera.

Palestinian protester launches tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces during protest against Israeli settlements in Beita on June 4 [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

“Right to live anywhere”

Shulamit, who did not want to give his last name, lives in Ramot, northeast of East Jerusalem, near the Shu’afat refugee camp.

She told Al Jazeera that she would not leave her home to move to Israel, an internationally recognized Green Line if the land were returned to the Palestinians, as “Israel is a democratic country and Israelis have the right to live anywhere as our government has declared.”

“I don’t care if you call the area Palestine or Israel, is it really a problem? I have no problem sharing the country with others,” Shulamit said.

However, when asked about the homeless Palestinians to give way to Israeli settlers, she said she was unaware that any Palestinians were expelled from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah or anywhere else in East Jerusalem.

“I haven’t heard any of that,” he told Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the controversial version of the historical events of Israeli settlers and their land theft are igniting other parts of the West Bank.

Beita’s Erbak al-Layli, or night-time confusion units (Palestinians, including tire fire, the sound of horns and the use of flares against Evyatar), have spread to the village of Beit Dajan , north of Beita.

The youth of Beit Dajan have formed their own resistance units every night and are facing settlers and soldiers from the two Israeli settlements Hamra and Mekhora, which were built on confiscated land.

According to the OCHA report, recent settler violence also included attacks on Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

“Other Palestinians were injured in Al Khadr, near Bethlehem, in Huwwara, near Nablus and in the H2 area of ​​Hebron,” the report said.

“About 1,000 olive trees were set on fire in Al Jab’a, near Bethlehem, 30 olive trees and a house in Ni’lin, near Ramallah, 70 olive trees in Beita, and about 80 barns in Tuba, near Hebron, ”he noted.

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