ISRAEL PREVENTS PALESTINIANS FROM ACCESSING AGRICULTURAL LANDS TO MAKE SETTLERS ‘COMFORTABLE’

SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday prevented Palestinians from accessing areas around the Wadi Qana valley west of Deir Istiya village in northern Salfit in the central occupied West Bank, in order to create a “comfortable atmosphere” for illegal Israeli settlers in the area.

Member of the Deir Istiya Municipality Nathmi Salman told Ma’an that Israeli authorities closed the entrance of Wadi Qana, preventing Palestinians from entering the area from 8 a.m to 3 p.m Friday to provide a “comfortable atmosphere” for Israeli settlers from the nearby Karnei Shomron settlement who organize an annual “spring march” in the area.
According to Salman, Israeli forces had put up signs in Hebrew reading “no entry” late Thursday and informed farmers that the area was closed by Israeli forces on Friday.
Salman said that Israeli settlers arrived in the area early Friday with power generators and “entertainment tools.”
 
An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.
Several Israeli settlements surround the Wadi Qana area, including the Immanuel and Karnei Shomron to the north, and Yaqir and Nofim to the south.
According to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, the central section of Wadi Qana, which is one of the tributaries of the Yarkon River, includes several springs and is located in Area C — the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli security and civilian control.
The land in the central section of the wadi is owned by Palestinians, mainly by residents of Deir Istiya, who use the land for farming and grazing.
“Over the course of many generations, and up to the 1990s, village families used to live in the wadi, relying on the springs for drinking water and for irrigating vegetable patches and citrus trees. To this day, residents of Deir Istiya and other neighboring villages go for a dip in the stream and relax on its banks,” B’Tselem said in a 2015 report.
According to B’tselem, over the years, the nearby settlements and outposts have discharged their wastewater into the wadi, spoiling the springs and harming the farmers’ water sources, eventually forcing the fifty Palestinian families who lived in the wadi to move to Deir Istiya in the 1990s.

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(Source / 24.03.2017)
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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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