Israeli bulldozers churned up a plot of Palestinian-owned land today in the village of Kisan, east of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Wafa news agency has reported. According to the deputy mayor of the village, Ahmad Ghazal, the army bulldozers destroyed three dunams of land belonging to the Ibayyat family near the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Avi Menahem to expand the entrance to the colony.
He added that the plot of land was already seized by the Israeli authorities a number of years ago, and warned of ongoing settler violations against the villagers and their property.
Kasan is isolated from neighbouring Palestinian villages. Its 800 inhabitants live surrounded by the two illegal settlements of Maale Amos and Avi Menahem.
Israel's widely practiced policy of home demolitions and destruction of other property targets entire families. Such demolitions are regarded as illegal collective punishment and are in violation of international human rights law.
Like hundreds of other Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, Kisan is located in "Area C" according to the Oslo Accords, putting it under full Israeli military and administrative control.
For decades, Israel has been preventing the villagers who own the land from using it without special permits either for farming or construction. Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967. The occupied territories have been earmarked by the international community for a future Palestinian state. The Israelis, meanwhile, have been building and expanding illegal settlements on the land for decades.