Israeli authorities seized large tracts of agricultural land, near Jabal al-Fureidis (“Mountain of the Little Paradise”) in Beit Ta’mir, in the southern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.
Director off the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission in Bethlehem, Hasan Breijeh, said that the Israeli authorities issued military orders confiscating 700 dunams (173 acres) of Palestinian-owned land, surrounding Jabal al-Fureidis, east of Bethlehem city, expropriating the land for an Israeli national park.
Israeli forces recently cordoned off the area with barbed wire, and installed an iron gate. The seized land belongs to the al-Wahsh, al-‘Asaker and al-Mas‘da families.
Palestinian Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Hamdan Taha, condemned Israel’s actions, stating that the mountain is a part of occupied Palestine’s heritage, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
In the adjacent Teqoua’ town, a 1600 year old religious artifact was stolen, on Sunday night, by the Israeli military.
Source: The news and the cover photo were originally published by the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC).