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Israeli army bulldozes 200 dunams of Palestinian lands in West Bank

According to a local official, on Tuesday the Israeli army carried out demolition work on over 200 dunams (49.4 acres) of land in Um Safa, a town located west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published July 09,2024

The Israeli army on Tuesday bulldozed more than 200 dunams (49.4 acres) in the town of Um Safa west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to a local official.

"The destroyed lands were cultivated and planted with olive and grape trees," Marwan Sabbah, the town's mayor, told Anadolu.

"Israeli bulldozers destroyed everything, including retaining walls and trees," he added.

The Palestinian official said Israeli forces raided the town and used live fire and tear gas to disperse angry citizens.

Sabbah accused Israeli authorities of "emptying Palestinian lands of farmers in order to control them."

According to the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now, the Israeli government seized 12,000 dunams (2,965 acres) on June 25 in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank on claims of being "state lands."

"Since the beginning of 2024, Israel has declared 23,700 dunams of the West Bank as state lands," the group said, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich of being determined "to fight against the entire world and against the interests of the people of Israel for the benefit of a handful of settlers who receive thousands of dunams as if there were no political conflict to resolve or war to end."

"This conflict cannot be resolved without a political settlement that establishes a Palestinian state alongside Israel," Peace Now said.

According to Israeli estimates, more than 720,000 Israelis reside in settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

All Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal under international law.