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Iran Press TV

Israel begins building road linking settlements, isolating Palestinian town in West Bank

Iran Press TV

Monday, 22 June 2020 2:44 PM

Israel has commenced building a new road for its settlers in the southern parts of the occupied West Bank at the expense of isolating a Palestinian town, a report says.

The new road's construction began on the outskirts of the town of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, on Sunday, the Palestinian Information Center reported on Monday, citing local activists.

The construction crew, guarded by soldiers, stormed Ein Fares area with bulldozers, leveling swathes of land.

Upon completion, the road would connect the settlements of Beitar Illit and Gush Etzion, a cluster of settlements, it added.

According to the report, the new road would practically cut off nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian-owned land in the town from its vicinity.

On Wednesday, Israeli settlers, using bulldozers, laid waste to many acres of Palestinian land in the town of Qusra, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

The move was aimed at building 'The American Road,' an eight-kilometer bypass, which would connect in particular the Esh Kodesh outpost to the Migdalim settlement.

An exclusive report by Reuters on June 15 revealed that the central and southern sections of 'The American Road' were already being constructed and that bids for the northernmost part of the road would be issued toward the end of the year, at a projected cost of $187 million.

The whole project is forecast to cost more than a quarter of a billion dollars, it further said.

The Israeli regime claims the controversial road will ease traffic congestion for both Israeli settlers and Palestinians living in the area.

However, Palestinians say the new road will first and foremost benefit Israeli settlers, and further undermine the feasibility of East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future state they seek in the West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israeli military forces, settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque

On Sunday evening, Israeli soldiers forced their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds, closed the Mosque's Asbat Gate (Lion's Gate) and made Palestinian citizens to leave al-Ghazali Square outside the holy site in order to secure a march staged by scores of settlers.

The Palestinian Information Center, citing local sources, reported that large numbers of Israeli forces were deployed in the area during the march.

Hardline Israeli lawmakers and extremist settlers storm the Mosque compound on a regular basis.

The compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted but according to an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan, which is the custodian of the holy sites at the compound, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited. The Israeli regime occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967.

Many of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead.

The report added that earlier, Israeli police forces had also physically assaulted one of the al-Aqsa Mosque guards and five Palestinian girls as they were saying prayers at the Mosque's Bab al-Rahma prayer hall.

It also said the Palestinian girls were arrested by Israeli police and detained for several hours before being released. They were also given written orders banning their entry to the holy site until further notice.

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