JERUSALEM – Palestinians have staged protests in the West Bank to denounce fresh Israeli land theft schemes after the regime’s bulldozers apparently began preparing a piece of land in the northern part of the occupied territories for settlement expansion.
Israeli bulldozers have been working in a field in close proximity to the Migdalim settlement, located 45 kilometers from Tel Aviv and adjacent to the Palestinian hamlet of Qusra, promoting anger among the Palestinians who believe the regime is planning to seize more occupied land.
Palestinian protesters from the village of Qusra challenged Israeli forces guarding the bulldozers.
For several days, residents of the town of Beita, in the Nablus Governorate, have been holding demonstrations, planting a Palestinian flag and erecting a tent on the hilltop of al-Arma to defend it against settlers from the Itamar settlement, with some of the protesters hurling rocks at Israeli troops.
An Israeli army statement said the regime forces had intervened and used “riot” dispersal means after Palestinians hurled rocks, burned tires and “came into physical confrontation” with the settlers, who were carrying out “agricultural work” near Migdalim.
“I came here because this is my land, and I want to die on my land but they are not letting me come near it,” said 70-year-old Qusra resident Joudat Odeh.
“They are happy at the victory of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Odeh added. “They are coming to control this land and we are helpless.”
There have been a rise in tensions in the occupied West Bank as Netanyahu’s Likud Party is leading in the general elections held on Monday.
Although Netanyahu has claimed victory in the third such elections in less than a year, but his right-wing bloc has failed to secure a 61-seat majority he needs to form an administration and end a political deadlock gripping the regime in Tel Aviv.
The Palestinians view Netanyahu’s win as a sign of more land grab to come. The Israeli regime has been sharply emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel polices, the latest of which is a contentious plot Trump unveiled last month with the aim of legitimizing Israel’s occupation and re-drawing the Middle East map.
The scheme, crafted to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meets Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders.
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