Gaza, Alray - Palestinian territory which was illegally seized by residents of the Itamar settlement was recently "converted" into a security trail by the Israeli Military Forces(IMF).
An aerial view of the area makes it clear that the military area (marked in red) corresponds nearly entirely to a security trail which settlement residents illegally took over ten years ago. Since then it has been defined as an area forbidden to Palestinians.
Two months ago, an Israeli army officer Nitzan Alon signed an order for seizure of the land adjacent to the settlement, for security purposes, covering an area of 63 dunam around the settlement. The land belongs to residents of the villages Awarta and Rujayb, and now the owners cannot enter their agricultural fields without prior coordination with military officials.
The order allows Palestinians access to a small area to which they have not been allowed entry so far, but because land that was taken borders a large part of the security path – this actually legitimizes the seizure of these private lands.
The rights organization B'tselem commented, "Instead of enforcing the law on settlers who illegally entered the trail, authorities cooperate and facilitate the robbery after-the-fact. The army must find a way to protect the settlers of Itamar in a way that will not critically harm the livelihood of the owners of the Palestinian land.”