Israeli Forces Destroy Agricultural Ponds East of Hebron, Knesset Mulls Settlement Law
On Thursday, Israeli forces destroyed agricultural ponds, farming equipment, irrigation systems and crops in the al-Baq’a area east of Hebron. Meanwhile, Israeli Knesset members proposed a law obligating the state to sign all future construction tenders for 10 West Bank settlements.
“Israeli forces, accompanied by the civil administration, the borders guards and police, raided with their bulldozers and vehicles the area and started demolishing the agricultural ponds that farmers use for irrigation,” farmer Ayad Jaber told Palestinian government news wire Wafa.
“Badawi al-Rajbi is one of the owners whose ponds were repaired many times after the Israeli forces demolished them during the past years,” said Jaber. “The Israeli troops keep demolishing these ponds, so they can expel farmers and steal their lands in order to expand Kiryat Arba and Kharsena settlements.”
The al-Baq’a area is considered to be one of the most fertile lands in Hebron.
The Israeli Knesset will discuss on Sunday a proposed law obligating the state to invest in settlement expansion under the framework of “natural growth.”
According to the Israeli Haa’retz newspaper, the Security and the Construction ministers would be forced to issue tenders for the construction of residential units in 10 settlements: Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, Beitar lllit, Modi’in lllit, Alfei Menashe, Efrat, Karnei shomron, Beit Aryeh, Ornit, and Kiryat Arba.
The law was proposed by the Knesset members from the right-leaning parties Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. According to the law, Defense Minister Ehud Barak would be responsible for issuing construction permits in the West Bank.