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Campaign against settler land grab launched

Gush Shalom launches campaign against settler land grab south of Hebron

Gush Shalom launches international campaign to protest settler land grab south of Hebron

Gush Shalom (The Israeli Peace Bloc) has launched an international campaign to protest the latest land grab by settlers on the West Bank. On February 29, the settlers of Karmel, in the Hebron District on the south of the West Bank, invaded the land of the Palestinian Hadalin Family, inhabitants of Yatta town, and started constructing a concrete base on which mobile homes could be placed - all the while threatening the land-owner and his family with weapons which were supplied to them by the Israeli army. It should be noted that the land is under the registered ownership of Mr.Salah Hadalin, that no confiscation order of any kind was presented, and that the land in question provides a significant part of the (meagre) livelihood of an extended family numbering some fifty adults and children.

At the time of writing, this illegal settler incursion and intensive construction activity has been going on for nearly a week, without the Israeli military government taking any step to stop it and restore the land to its legal owners. This is far from a unique case, though the settler boldness and lack of any pretence at legality seem extreme even for settler standards. The continuation of such land-grabbing operations and settlement extensions - not only unhindered by the government of Israel but often getting financial and logistical support from government sources as well as military protection for the settlers involved - makes a mockery of the government's declared adherence to "The Roadmap for Peace", of which a central item is the obligation upon Israel to dismantle all settlement extensions created after March 2001, and certainly to prevent the creation of new ones. It also casts grave doubts, to say the least, on Prime Minister Sharon's declared intention to evacuate the Gaza Strip and dismantle the settlements there. Gush Shalom intends to mobilise Israeli and international human rights organizations on the case of Hadalin Family's land, to involve members of the Israeli Knesset and explore the possiblilties of a legal struggle.

For further details:

Abdel Hadi Hantash of the Palestinian Land Defence Committee (who is in daily contact with the family) , hantasha@hotmail.com

Adam Keller - Gush Shalom Spokesperson:, info@gush-shalom.org

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