The northern West Bank’s Tubas is under imminent threat by Israeli settlers who have long had their eye on the Palestinian town’s agricultural lands.
The settlements are already encroaching onto the land with continual expansion. One of the leaders of the local community said that all facts indicate that there are new attempts to expand the settlements by confiscating large tracts of remaining farm land.
It is clear, as reported by the local community, that the Israeli policy is to eliminate any Palestinian presence in the Jordan Valley area, including confiscating the fertile land, building the Wall, and expanding existing settlements while building new ones.
Resident Azmi Abu Al Wafa said that the “looting and confiscation of adjacent lands” began in 1969 and that Israeli forces are looking to “loot the remainder thereof.” He said that farmers have endured years of harassment by the settlers and soldiers. Resident Ra’ed Suleiman said that settlers closed-off his land to him entirely, despite its distance from the settlements.
The numbers of loss in dunams of land are staggering and rising. Israeli forces issued home demolition orders and are overtaking the water supply and some of the most fertile lands. In 1983, 1984 and 1986 Israeli settlements took more of Tubas. Suleiman said that Israeli policy is removing residents from the land one decade at a time.