Just a few days after Israeli forces expelled a Palestinian family from land in the southern occupied West Bank, an unauthorized settler outpost was established there, reported Haaretz.
Last month, Israeli authorities carried out the eviction of the Qassieh family near Beit Jala, demolishing their home and a restaurant they had been operating on the same site.
The land is located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians are systematically denied construction permits by Israeli occupation authorities.
For generations, the Cassia family has lived on their land in Beit Jala, where they have their home and Palestinian restaurant. But for the last decade, Israel has been hounding them to leave, periodically razing their home to the ground. https://t.co/uhubnOJvIu pic.twitter.com/RqexDNH9dY
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) August 28, 2019
In this case, however, a further element was at play, since Himnuta – a Jewish National Fund (JNF) subsidiary – claimed ownership of the land and sought to expedite the demolitions.
This claim is disputed by the Qassieh family who, for now, are living in a tent near their former home while the ownership battle plays out in the courts.
However, just days after the expulsion, according to Haaretz, “a group of Jews came to a plot adjacent to where the house and restaurant had stood and began working the land.”
“A short time later, they erected temporary buildings that in practice turned the site into an unauthorized residential outpost,” the report added.
Officially, the JNF has acknowledged immediately leasing the land to the nearby Neve Daniel settlement for “agricultural use”.
However, “no permits have ever been issued for the construction of buildings at the site”, and thus even under Israeli regulations, the settlers’ structures are illegal.
Peace Now expressed dismay at the developments. “The establishment of a new outpost 70 meters (230 feet) from the Palestinian home that was destroyed under pressure from the JNF lets the cat out of the bag,” the group stated.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)