Jewish Settlers Storm Palestinian Village near Bethlehem

Settler violence against Palestinians is routine in the West Bank. (Photo: File)

Jewish settlers Friday morning stormed al-Walaja village, located to the northwest of Bethlehem city, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Local activist Ibrahim Awadallah said that groups of Jewish settlers, under military protection, barged their way into the village, and toured the Rweisat Mount along with a local water spring, known as al-Hadafa.

Awadalla added that the mount and the water spring are at the risk of seizure as Israeli forces posted a military order to expropriate the water spring five years ago.

Located at a horizontal distance of 5 kilometers to the west of Bethlehem, al-Walaja has a population of some 2,800 and occupies a total area of 4,328 dunams.

Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given ed control over a small pocket of land occupying 113 dunams and accounting for only 2.6 percent of the village’s total area. This area is classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.

An area of 4,209 dunams of the village, accounting for 97 percent, is completely isolated by the section of Israel’s apartheid wall. The majority of this land is agricultural land, forests and open spaces.

The village is flanked by two illegal Jewish settlements; Gilo from the east and Har Gilo from the south.

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.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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