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Israeli settlers start new year with new illegal outpost in Nablus village

Israeli settlements, under construction are seen, in Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, on December 29, 2016 [Daniel Bar On / Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlements under construction are seen in Jerusalem on 29 December 2016 [Daniel Bar On / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli settlers started to establish a new illegal outpost on private Palestinian land in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus Sunday morning.

Abd al-Karim Hussein, the mayor of the village of Azmut, northeast of Nablus city, told Ma'an via telephone that Israeli settlers brought mobile homes to the Ras al-Ein area in the eastern suburbs of Azmut.

He highlighted that the new outpost is located just a few hundred meters away from the illegal Elon Moreh settlement.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding whether or not they were aware of the outpost or if the army planned to take any action against the illegal structures.

Most of Azmut's land reserves are located in Area C – part of the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control, where building permits are almost always denied to Palestinian villagers.

A recent report by Israeli rights group B'Tselem used the village of Azmut and other Nablus villages as a case study to illustrate Israel's legacy of "the process of fragmentation imposed on Palestinian rural land in the West Bank."

"In practice, each and every restriction Israel has imposed on the residents of Azmut has enabled settlers to encroach on these lands and increase the land under settler control," the report said, adding that settlers are enabled to "build houses, establish outposts, dig pathways, plant crops, and groves, graze flocks, and take over natural water sources on that land. Meanwhile, villagers are also regularly subjected to physical attacks."

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