Israeli Settlers Begin Clearing Beit Ommar Land Immediately After Settlement Freeze Expires

27 September 2010

On Monday, September 27th, 2010, at around 7am, Israeli settlers from Migdal Oz used a bulldozer to clear 2 dunams of Palestinian land in the southern West Bank. The land belongs to Abed al Halim Abu Ayyesh from Beit Ommar. The settlers began clearing his land close to the entrance of Migdal Oz just hours after the expiration of a 10-month freeze in settlement construction. Part of the land was cleared with the bulldozer, presumably for construction, while rocks were piled in another area. Migdal Oz was constructed in 1977 on land stolen from Beit Ommar villagers, and now houses 300 settlers.

Settlement expansion also resumed elsewhere in the West Bank in the Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, and Hebron districts. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Karmei Tsur, another illegal settlement built on Beit Ommar land, will also renew expansion over the coming days. Villagers who live within sight of the settlement have reported seeing new settler caravans being built even before the settlement freeze expired.