World Bulletin / News Desk
Denying residents the right to build, renovate, conduct business, or plant trees, Israeli authorities are choking off a Palestinian village in the West Bank in an attempt to turn it into a tourist site, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
"The Israeli military has choked off Nabi Samwil for years, and it is cruel to now make a tourist attraction out of the part of the village the military destroyed," Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release on Tuesday.
According to the New York-based group, Israeli authorities demolished many buildings in the village, a few kilometers northwest of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), without a prior notice to residents.
In 1995, Israel declared the Palestinian village a national park, using that explanation to deny residents the right to building or planting trees.
Since 2007, the village has been cut off from the rest of the West Bank by an Israeli separation barrier.
In June 2013, Israeli authorities announced plans for an archaeological tourist site in the village.
The Israeli restrictions have prompted residents to stage weekly protests against plans to turn their village into a tourist attraction.
According to HRW, An Israeli official managing the excavations told residents in December that anyone who participated in the protests “does not get to work” at the site.
"The military should be making sure Nabi Samwil residents can return and rebuild, not making their displacement permanent," Whitson said.Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2014, 10:28