Israeli bulldozers 'level Palestinian land, uproot trees' near Salfit
Published Sunday 29/06/2014 (updated) 30/06/2014 13:50
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers on Sunday leveled Palestinian lands in the Salfit district in the central West Bank, locals said.
Witnesses said bulldozers uprooted dozens of olive trees and fruit trees in the Thahir Subih neighborhood of Kafr al-Dik.
Local researcher Khalid Maali said that an Israeli court had approved confiscation of 3,000 dunams (750 acres) of private Palestinian land, but that the bulldozers had leveled an area of more than 10,000 dunams (2,500 acres).
A spokesperson for Israel's civil administration said in an email to Ma'an that ''works are currently taking place at the site for the agricultural development of the region with the state's approval."
"No tree uprootings were registered at the site. The lands in question are state lands and not private Palestinian lands," the spokesperson said, without providing further details.
Israeli authorities regularly declare private Palestinian lands or historically communal lands used by Palestinians in the West Bank as Israeli state land for settlement construction and expansion.