Israeli forces today denied Palestinians access to their lands threatened with confiscation, west of Salfit city, according to local activists.
They said that Israeli troops set up checkpoints in the area of al-Ras, at the risk of expropriation to make room for the expansion of the Israeli colonial settlement of Ariel, as a means to prevent Palestinian villagers from rallying against the expropriation of this area.
Soldiers also sealed off the entrances of Salfit city, denying all Palestinians who are non-residents of the city from taking part in the rally.
Secretary-General of Fatah branch in Salfit Abdul-Sattar Awwad pledged that the villagers would continue to organize such rallies to “foil all Israeli schemes aimed at liquidating the Palestinian question” and restore the confiscated lands.
The Israeli government is tacitly supporting settlers in their drive to fully take over al-Ras area for the construction of a new colonial outpost, which would form a part of the larger Ariel settlement.
There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The number of settlers has almost tripled since the Oslo Accords of 1993, when settlers’ number estimated 252,000. Illegal colonial settlements have leapt from 144 to 515 in that time.
Israel’s nation-state law that passed last July stated that building and strengthening the colonial settlements is a “national interest.”