Dozens of Israeli settlers entered the northern part of the town of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Thursday in order to carry out Passover celebrations on the Palestinian town’s land.
The southern Hebron directorate of agriculture told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli settlers, under the protection of armed Israeli forces, “raided the area,” which is revered by locals as an important historical site.
The settlers reportedly set up pergolas in the area to celebrate Passover.
Israeli settlers 'raid' Palestinian town near Hebron for Passover celebrationshttps://t.co/1NgDVU3tFz pic.twitter.com/jgkZe2mWz6
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) April 13, 2017
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were unaware of the incident.
Dura is surround by four illegal Israeli settlements – the Hagia settlement to the east, Adora settlement from the south, Negohot settlement to the southwest and Otnel settlement to the south east – leaving residents subjected to frequent Israeli incursions that exacerbate fears among local Palestinians who routinely face violence by Israeli settlers.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with announcements of settlement expansion earlier this year sparking condemnation from the international community.
Also in Hebron, thousands of illegal settlers barricaded the Ibrahimi Mosque, barring Palestinians from entry or prayer.
#Hebron: #Muslims banned from #IbrahimiMosque during #Passover | https://t.co/s8ypGNsp7s pic.twitter.com/aByA0rFuw2
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) April 13, 2017
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)