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Neve Daniel municipality secretly expanding settlement by night

12:00 Aug 16 2011 Al-Khadr, Neve Daniel

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The municipal council of the Israeli Neve Daniel settlement west of Bethlehem has been taking advantage of the Ramadan season to expand the illegal settlement founded on the land of the nearby Palestinian village of Al-Khadr.

As Palestinian Muslims break fast at sunset, the municipality brings out its bulldozers to carry out wide-ranging excavations on a 300-dunum (1 Dunum= 1000 square meters) area known as Ayn al-Qissis throughout the night.

The night digging has been going on for four days in an area barren of a Palestinian population, said Ahmed Salah, the coordinator for the local anti-settlement committee. He added that a number of local farmers related that when they go to tend to their farms, they have spotted damage caused by bulldozers. They said they have not seen related activity during the daytime.

Salah confirmed that a delegation from the anti-settlement committee later investigated and found that digging was actually taking place, and that roads were being etched bridging between the area and Neve Daniel.

The bulldozers dug in a way that blocked farmers from having access to their land, Salah said, adding that trailers had also been placed there, serving as a prelude to annexing the area.

Despite the locals’ lack of confidence in the Israeli legal system, petitions have already been filed against the activity. They suspect that the digging was done at night so that those responsible would deny it with the Israeli officials.

Elsewhere, Jewish settlers have also been working rapidly to expand a settlement outpost erected south of Nablus city in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian official responsible for monitoring Israeli settlements has reported.

The source added that 90 percent of Jewish settlements in the West Bank are currently under expansion works.

Also on Tuesday, in downtown Al-Khalil to the south, hundreds of Jewish settlers demonstrated, demanding that the government works to enhance settlement construction projects and confiscate more Palestinian land for that purpose.
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