Settlers Attempt to Seize Palestinian Lands in Southern Hebron Under Israeli Protection

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Israeli settlers attempted on Sunday evening, September 17, 2023, to seize a large area of Palestinian-owned land in the town of Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, under the protection of Israeli forces.

According to activist Ratib Jubour, dozens of settlers placed barbed wire around approximately 50 dunams of land belonging to the Hathaleen and Zein families, adjacent to the “Karmiel” settlement, in an attempt to expand the settlement further.

Israeli authorities had previously issued a plan for the expansion of the “Karmiel” settlement at the expense of Palestinian-owned lands located between “Um Al-Kheir” and “Saddat Al-Tha’aleh,” specifically on the eastern side of the mentioned settlement.

Masafer Yatta is a semi-desert region located in the southern district of Hebron.

It is home to some 2,500 Palestinians distributed across 12 villages or hamlets, spanning approximately 30,000 dunams.

Masafer Yatta has been subjected to continuous attacks by settlers aiming to seize thousands of dunams of Palestinian land.

Many of the families lived there prior to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in 1967. They make their living as shepherds and farmers but face a myriad of Israeli military policies including restrictions on maintaining and developing their homes, and an inability to access the electricity grid and water network.

They are also surrounded by a belt of illegal Israeli settlements and live under what human rights organisations call systematic Israeli police, army and settler violence.

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