Israeli settlers eye new settlement plans in Hebron's Masafer Yatta
Israelis who live in the nearby Israeli settlements of Ma’on and Havat Maon built a mobile home on Palestinian land in the Masafer Yatta area as a pretext for seizing the land, coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committees in southern Hebron, Rateb al-Jabour, told Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa.
They put up a large Star of David sign to mark that the area was taken over by settlers.
The move came shortly after occupying Israeli forces confiscated farm equipment and tent erection tools from the Palestinian Al-Juwaya community inside the town.
Another group of settlers stormed the nearby village of Tiwani, the east of Masafer Yatta, and also set up a Star of David sign on Palestinian land.
Masafer Yatta is in the South Hebron Hills are located in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
The area is subjected to Israeli control and Palestinian residents are often targeted by illegal settlers.
Hebron is a particularly hostile environment for Palestinians due to a large number of Israeli settlers in the city.
Around 800 ultra-nationalist Israeli settlers live in the heart of Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank. The settler enclave is protected by twice as many Israeli soldiers.
Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.
More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.
The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three zones: Area A, Area B and Area C.
Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.