Hebron, MINA – Israeli settlers on Tuesday overnight attacked Palestinian landowners attempting to defend their land against takeover, east of Hebron, according to a landowner.
Aref Jaber confirmed that a group of settlers, under military protection, squatted in his plot of land, which occupies 25 donums, in al-Baq‘a area, and attempted to set up a mobile home as a means to take it over, Wafa reported.
When Aref and other landowners attempted to confront the settlers, they were beaten up and pepper-sprayed.
Janer said that this was not the first of its kind encroachment upon his land, which overlooks large parts of the 50-donum area, which the settlers are striving to take over for the expansion of nearby colonial settlements.
The assailants came from the nearby colonial settlement of Qiryat Arba‘.
Horizontally located some four kilometers to the east of Hebron at an altitude of 915 meters above sea level, al-Baq‘a village has a population of some 1,500, whose majority depends on agriculture and livestock rearing for livelihood.
The village occupies a total area of 1,500 donums, 150 donums of which are classified as built-up area, 600 dunams are classified as arable land, including 100 dunams cultivated with grape trees and vegetables, and 450 others classified as forests and open spaces.
The Israeli occupation authorities have seized at least 1,000 dunams during the second Intifada, including 600 donums for the construction of the section of Israel’s apartheid wall, which isolates the villages from the east and north and pushes the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.
The construction of the wall resulted in the confiscation of an additional 100 donums and the destruction of some 2,000 trees.
The village is flanked by three Israeli colonial settlements, Qiryat Arba‘ to the south, Ramat Mamre (Kharsine) to the west and Qiryat Five to northwest. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)