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Israel starts illegal construction, destroying field of olive trees on private Palestinian land near village of Immatin

17th August 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Immatin, Occupied Palestine

Immatin is a village situated in close proximity to the annexation wall and flanked by the illegal settlements of Qedumim, Gilad and Immanu’el. Recently, three brothers from the village went to work on their land. However, when they arrived, they found that construction workers, under instruction from the Israeli authorities, were bulldozing and clearing areas of the land to erect electricity pylons. The brothers had not recieved any verbal or written request to use the land nor had they recieved any order that would confiscate it.

The brothers tried to stop the work, as the land is used for olive trees by the family and they fear the destruction of the trees. However the army were then called by the construction workers who when arriving threatened to beat and then arrest the brothers unless they left. The army said that the building work would be between the olive trees, but it is not known what will happen in the future, nor if it will still be permitted for them to access their own land, once these Israeli power lines are in place. When threatened with arrest the brothers left their land, powerless to assert their property and individual rights because they are Palestinian.

International activists visited the land with one of the brothers when the work was still taking place and it can be seen that the olive trees are at high risk from being destroyed during the construction. This case shows the belief that the Israeli occupation has in their own impunity, when they are able to construct, demolish and confiscate without even issuing papers. Even when demolition, confiscation and stop work orders are given, Palestinians have very little chance in overturning them in the Israel courts. The private land under construction is area C which means it is under full Israeli control, where Israel is obliged to look after the rights and administer for all the inhabitants.

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