Israel forces raid former settlement near Nablus
Published Tuesday 17/09/2013 (updated) 14/10/2013 14:12
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday raided an area of land near Nablus which was formally the site of Homesh settlement, locals said.
On Monday, Israel's military said that land confiscated in 1978 by a military order would be returned to its Palestinian owners.
The land, which belonged to the village of Burqa, was used to build the settlement of Homesh, which was evacuated in 2005.
Witnesses said that five military vehicles raided the area on Tuesday and remained there for over three hours.
They then left the area without providing an explanation, locals said.
Palestinians say that armed Jewish settlers have been trickling back to try and reestablish a permanent presence there.
"Thirty-five years have passed since the land was taken from its lawful owners and now we have been informed that they can lawfully return to their land," Yesh Din said in a statement on Monday.
"To our regret, we are well aware of the permanent and illegal presence of Israelis at the site," it went on. "We hope...that the law will be enforced and the Israelis staying there will be removed and the Palestinian owners can return safely to their lands."