Salfit lands swallowed up by 24 Israeli illegal settlements

SALFIT, (PIC)– 24 Israeli illegal settlement units in Salfit have torn Palestinian towns and villages from limb to limb and depleted agricultural lands. Talking in an exclusive statement to the PIC, researcher Khaled Maali said the increasing pace of illegal settlement expansion crushed the master plans for Palestinian towns and villages. Palestinians have been banned from constructing residential homes over the territory after Israel claimed it as part of Area C. According to Maali, the illegal settlement expansion has affected Salfit province as it has done all other areas of the occupied West Bank, a home to over three million Palestinians. The Israeli occupation authorities have also prevented developmental projects for Palestinians in such locations as Area A, in a flagrant violation of the Oslo Accord.   Israel has even held sway over Palestinians’ natural resources including water. Jenin’s and Salfit’s water supplies have been cut by half under counterfeit pretexts. Maali warned of an Israeli preplanned attempt to wipe out Palestinians’ presence and to boost illegal settlements across the occupied territories, a plan that has also been nurtured by arbitrary home demolitions under the unlicensed construction pretext. 24 illegal settlement outposts, including four industrial zones and three nature reserves, along with streets, bypasses, military camps, and watchtowers, have turned Salfit from the “olive province” to an area engulfed by apartheid walls and illegal settlements from all corners. Maali warned that in case Israel keeps up such a pace for illegal settlement activity Palestinians in Salfit and in the occupied West Bank will barely, if ever, have lands to cultivate, earn from, or even live in.

(Source / 01.08.2016)

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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.

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