Farmers Arrested for Working on Their Land near Bethlehem

12:00 Nov 7 2011 Irtas (Ertas), south of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, November 7, 2011 (WAFA) – A farmer, his wife and her sister were arrested Monday for working on their land in the village of Irtas, near Bethlehem, according to local activists.

They said Jamal Assad, 58, was working on his land, which is located near the Israeli settlement of Daniel, when a known extremist settler brought police claiming Assad was trespassing on her land and had cut down trees.

Assad denied the claims saying he has papers to prove ownership of the land claimed by the settler. He said the settlers had cut down 80 olive trees and set fire to his house in order to force him to leave this land.

He said the settlers want to take over his land because it is located near Gush Ezion settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem.

The three were taken to Kiryat Arba settlement, near Hebron, were they have been detained, said the local activists.

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