Settlers build near Palestinian villages on eve of peace talks
A human rights foundation said Israeli settlers kicked off a series of new settlement activities the night of the outset of peace talks between de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli B’Tselem organization said in a report released Tuesday that settlers seized property in the Qaryut, Al-Maghayyir, and Sinjil villages and placed signs and borders around a large area between Al-Maghayyir and Qaryut along the street to the Alon Moreh settlement.
Settlers used bulldozers and other digging equipment to level the land as a prelude to annexing it to a settlement outpost called Ad Ya’ad to the east of the Turmosayya village.
B’Tselem quoted one of the land’s owners, Mahmoud Hamed Mousa, as saying: “These settlement works are not the first to take place on our 450 dunum area of land. Settlers previously took control the beginning of this year of 10 other dunum of the land and built plastic houses on it.”
“When we proceeded to challenge the step with the liaison office and police, they claimed that the lands belong to the state and that the settlers rented it from the government, even though we have documents registered since the time of the British Mandate, and we used to and still do cultivate this land,” he said.