Sweeping 20 Dunoms from the lands of Khallet Al-Ein in Al-Tur
Under heavy protection from Israeli forces, the bulldozers of Nature and Parks Authority swept on Wednesday morning wide areas of lands in Khallet Al-Ein near Al-Tur, east of Jerusalem. Locals of the area explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that a large Israeli force raided the area of Khallet Al-Ein around 6 a.m. The force surrounded the area and prevented the citizens and owners of the lands from getting to the lands that will be swept, and then started the sweeping process. Mufeed Abu Ghannam, head of follow-up committee in Al-Tur, said that the Israeli bulldozers swept 20 Dunoms from the lands of Khallet Al-Ein in Al-Tur that are owned by the families of Khweis and Al-Sayyad. He explained that the sweeping process included removing 30-year old fruitful trees in addition to removing trees saplings as well as demolishing dirt hills in the lands. Abu Ghannam confirmed that the locals have orders from the Israeli courts to freeze the works in the lands of Al-Tur and Esawyeh until there is a decision regarding the project submitted by the locals, but the Nature and parks Authority already swept the lands four times in 2012-2013. He also said that the bulldozers demolished eight houses in the area this year in addition to the existence of 48 houses that are at risk of being demolished in those lands in order to inplement the “National Park” project. Ahmad Sub Laban, a field researcher, explained that the sweeping process led to the sweeping of the main road leading to the houses of Tarek Gheith and Ali Gheith where 16 individuals live in which most of them are children and are currently suffering to reach their homes and are forced to go through dirt hills and pass through rocks because of the severe slope in the area. He also added that the Israeli authorities intend to execute the “National Park 11092 A” project in Al-Tur and Esawyeh through seizing 740 Dunoms from the lands of the locals, knowing that the municipality, Nature and Parks Authority and Jerusalem Development Authority have submitted the National Park project in 2009. The project was approved in December of 2009 after it satisfied the initial conditions and in January of 2010 the local committee decided to expand the project to the North and North West. In April 2010, the Israeli District Committee to organize and construct ratified the project with a total area of 740 Dunoms.