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Israel to embark on the largest ethnic cleansing drive in West Bank

The extreme right-wing Israeli government has decided to raze at least 8 Palestinian villages in the al-Khalil, Masafer Yatta. (Hebron region) and expel their inhabitants as what is known as “ethnic cleansing”.

The Israeli’s decision means that hundreds of families, including children and elderly people, will become homeless.

Also Read: Israel having free season on Palestinian civilians including Children and Journalists

The utterly racist measure of ethnic cleansing coincides with the 74th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 when Jewish terrorist gangs hailing from Eastern Europe expelled more than 700,000 Palestinians from their ancestral villages in what is now Israel.

Read: “Jewish State”: A Nazi Concept Implying another final Nakba

According to settlement expert Abdul-Hadi Hantash, all of the eight villages predated the establishment of Israel.

“Well, to be honest, it is Israel itself,  not the villages that lack legitimacy.

Every stone, every rock, every tree would testify that these villagers have been here since time immemorial.”

The area where the villages are located is known as Masafer Yatta. Yatta is a nearby town, with a population of nearly 130, 000 Palestinian inhabitants, located 10 kilometres southwest of al-Khalil, the second largest town in the West Bank after Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, the Israeli High court, a mere rubber stamp in the hands of the security agencies and executive authorities, ruled that the villages had been designated for military training and that their inhabitants were not permanent residents of the area.

According to the mayor of Yatta, Saleh Awwad,  the Israeli claim that the area was designated for military training is a big lie”

“This is only a play, an excuse. Their real goal is to seize this area for settlement expansion to prevent the Palestinians from expanding eastward; in other words “ethnic cleansing”. They want to encircle us so that no room would be left for Palestinian demographic growth in the future.”

Also Read: Children of Palestine: A childhood lost to trauma without an end

Palestinian leaders have warned that the razing of the villages and expulsion of their inhabitants, which they described as ethnic cleansing in broad daylight, would be a definitive game-changer.

“We wouldn’t just watch passively and helplessly as these neo-Nazis (Israel) are trying to inflict another Nakba (catastrophe) upon our people,” said Hamas leader Ismael Haniya.

He pointed out that Israel was attacking the Palestinian people on all fronts, adding that ” We must, therefore, resist them on all fronts.”

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas urged the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people  from “the relentless Israeli aggression.”

Three Israelis were killed by suspected Palestinian guerillas

On Thursday evening, suspected Palestinian guerillas killed three Israelis at the small Jewish town of Elad. Israel troops and policemen launched a wide-scale manhunt for the suspected assailants who reportedly fled the site of the attack.

 Police set up roadblocks and searched vehicles, in an effort to apprehend the suspected Palestinian.

The incident came only a few hours after dozens of vehemently-racist Jewish settlers entered the Aqsa Mosque esplanade, protected by heavily-armed soldiers. One of the settlers tried to raise the Israeli flag inside the courts of the Islamic sanctuary but was prevented from doing so by a policeman.

Messianic Jewish fanatics, who exert a strong influence on Israeli governments, are pressing for obtaining a formal legal right to perform Talmudic rituals at the exclusively Islamic holy place.

Following this incident, Hamas warned Israel that the “desecration of al Masjidul Aqsa will not pass with impunity.”

Also Read: Israeli court’s ruling allowing Jewish prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Abbas condemned the incident, saying he was against violence and killings irrespective of the identity of the perpetrators and the victims.  As many as 30 Palestinians and 20 Israelis were killed last month in aggressive Israeli raids in the West Bank and several Palestinian resistance operations inside Israel

Khaled Amayreh
Khalid Amayreh (Arabic: خالد عمايرة‎‎, b. 1957 Hebron) is a Palestinian journalist based in Dura, near Hebron, West Bank. He is an award-winning reporter who has contributed hundreds of articles to the Al-Jazeera English website from the Occupied West Bank. His field includes, inter alia, strategic studies with emphasis on the Arab world, Iran after the Shah, the Arab-Israeli conflict, contemporary Islamic movements, religious Zionism, comparative religion. Shiite Islam and failure of democratization in the Arab world. He received most of his formal education in the US where he obtained two degrees in journalism, a BA from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's degree in the same field from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has published numerous studies and articles on a variety of subjects in both English and Arabic. He has also written five books. The title of his MA thesis in the US was “the religious Press in America and the Palestinian question from 1967-1983. Amayreh has worked for the following media: Middle East International, London, al-Jazeera English, Ahram Weekly (Cairo), UAE TV, and several other Arabic publications. Amayreh's sole agenda is to spread and disseminate the truth about the enduring Palestinian/Israeli conflict which seems to defy all peace efforts. Honesty are rectitude are paramount for him. Per him, unfortunately, this conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future or even during our lifetime.

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