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Israeli forces raze Palestinian lands near Bethlehem

Israeli occupation forces today razed Palestinian lands in the area of Wadi al-Makh’rour, to  the west  of Bethlehem city in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
Israeli bulldozers imposed a curfew in the area and prevented citizens from entering or leaving it, before embarking on razing about five dunmus of private-owned land.

Wadi al-Makhrour is a popular hiking space for Palestinians. It is best enjoyed during the late afternoon in the summer when the sun is about to set.

According to the online portal for Palestinian tourism, the area encompasses both natural and agricultural landscapes and is well known for its ancient terraces and stone towers called qusur, built of neatly placed rocks that used to serve as storage rooms for various crops planted in the wadi.

The area is famous for its hills replete with agricultural terraces planted with olive, apricot, and fig trees. The abundance of the place is owed to the underground natural springs and the hard work of the landowners. Some parts of the valley are home to natural forests with remarkable tree species such as Palestine oak (Quercus calliprinos).

Israeli forces have been targeting Wadi al-Makhrour seeking to forcefully displace the indigenous Palestinian population from their land for Jewish-only settlement expansion.

The largely Christian city of Beit Jala is flanked by illegal Israeli Gilo and Har Gilo settlements to the north and northwest.

Meanwhile, Israeli army bulldozers today razed Palestinian lands in Shweier village in the northern Jordan Valley after forcing local shepherds to leave the area, according to Mahdi Daraghmeh, head of al-Maleh village council, who did not give a reason for the Israeli action.