More land theft from Azzun and Kfur Laqif
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More land theft from Azzun and Kfur Laqif

Occupation bulldozers last week began again uprooting olive trees in Kfur Laqif and Azzun villages east of Qalqiliya to prepare the footprint of a second part of the Ariel Settlement Block Apartheid Wall.

The Wall is to be built to the southwest of Kfur Laqif and east of Azzun. This lies to the northeast of the settlements of Ma’ale Shomron and Qame Shomron in the Ariel Block.

According to the municipality of Kfur Laqif Occupation forces have started work on the edge of the village and destroyed over 2km2 of village land. The mayor said farmers were not allowed to reach their confiscated land any more and soldiers attacked and beat an old man for merely attempting to access his land.

The Occupation has been confiscating the land of Kfur Laqif since the 1980s. Hundreds of dunums of agricultural land were confiscated to erect the settlement of Qame Shomron and the settler bypass-road.

The Wall will confiscate another 1000 dunums. 500 dunums of village land will be behind the Wall southwest of the village and farmers will lose use of the land without receiving any compensation. A further 500 dunums will be lost after construction starts northeast of the village. The Wall will completely close off the southern entrance to village.

Two weeks ago the Occupation Forces issued confiscation orders for 8 dunums to build a military base south of Kfur Laqif. Many more dunums around the base will be annexed in the name of “security”.

Since the 1970s the village of Azzun has already lost 7,560 dunums of land to the settlements of Alfe Menashe, Zufin and Ma’ale Shomron. The recent confiscation orders mean Azzun village, with a population of 9,000, will have lost 75% of its land since 1948.

The Wall to the northwest of Azzun around the settlement of Zufin annexed 4070 dunums in 2003. The Wall will further destroy the village’s economy – over 60% of the populations are farmers who depend on the land for their livelihood. Unemployment and poverty will rise still further as a result of the latest land theft.

Since 2004 when construction of the Wall to the south-east of the village began, Azzun has lost 230 dunums of land in this area. Confiscation orders were recently distributed for a further 800 dunums of agricultural land containing olive and citrus groves, and greenhouses. This includes land used for the route of the Wall and land isolated behind the Wall.

Bulldozers working northeast of the village are currently completing construction of the Wall and uprooting olive groves. The Wall will be only 50m from some of Azzun’s houses.