7 April 2009
Israeli forces have started the construction of three new roads around the village of Qaryut, located in the Nablus district of the northern West Bank. Qaryut is already surrounded on three sides by illegal Israeli settlements, and the new roads are being built to connect these settlements together and to nearby road 60. Road 60 has been closed to Palestinians since 2000, but has remained open to settlers and the army. The closure of this road has prevented access by farmers to a large amount of agricultural land which, according to Qaryut’s mayor, is now being used by Israeli settlers. Israeli authorities have recently confiscated an additional 900 dunums of agricultural land to build the three new roads. This land belongs to around 150 Palestinian families in Qaryut.
The mayor of Qaryut speaks about the recent confiscation of village lands:
Qaryut village is surrounded by Israeli settlements, and unfortunately as much as 60% of our village is categorized as Area C, while the rest of the village is Area B. During the last two years, eviction orders have already been given for several village houses in Area C. Now that the IDF is working on the construction of the new roads, we are deeply concerned that this is part of a new plan to push the villagers living in Area C into Area B, in order to expand the Israeli settlements.