Farmers from al-Jaba and Wadi Fukin, located to the west of Bethlehem, found four military orders thrown on their land. The land has been classified as âstate landâ and as such the farmers are no longer allowed access to the land. Additionally, the farmers are also ordered to uproot their own trees and other signs of cultivation from the land. Military orders are routinely thrown on the ground or stapled to trees but it is the first time such demand has been put forward by the Occupation.
***image2***The land in question covers an estimated 47.2 dunums and is owned by five brothers from the Abu Luha family, two brothers from the al-Mushaâle family and five from the family of al-Majid al-Hamdan. These people are in possession of official documents that establish their ownership of land.
The head of the village of al-Jaba confirmed that Occupation forces expelled farmers last week. They were informed that they would not be able to return to their farmlands and continue cultivation. It appears very likely that this land was confiscated with the aim of annexing it with the Wall. Al-Jaba is isolated on all sides by settlements and the Wall.
In Kherba Hadib, a small area south of Wadi Fukin, a farmer named Mahar Taha Mustafa Munsair found a military order that informed him that his land was being confiscated. The order demanded that he remove all farming equipment from the area. The land is now classified as âstate landâ, despite the fact that he possesses documents of ownership.
The confiscated land consists of 25.5 dunums of farmland where of nut and olive trees are cultivated. It should be noted that Occupation forces had already confiscated the land in 1996 and in 2003 uprooted trees and destroyed walls. The owners took the case to Occupation courts and succeeded in obtaining a resolution that established their ownership of the land. Today, the Occupation again attempts to seize the area.