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New settlers-only road on Palestinian land near Bethlehem

Jerusalem24– The Palestinian Authority’s news agency WAFA reported that Israeli forces opened on Monday a settlers-only road on Palestinian land in the village of Wadi Fukin west of Bethlehem.

The head of Wadi Fukin village council, Ibrahim Al-Horoub, said the road is 300 meters long with barbed wire placed on both sides which prevent Palestinians from entering.

The road is adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Tzur Hadassah.

Settler-only roads frequently threaten Palestinian land and property as Israel seeks to expand the network of roads connecting its illegal settlements in the West Bank and bypassing the existing Palestinian villages.

In March 2020 the Israeli Ministry of Defense approved a plan to create a new “fabric of life” road network for Palestinians that diverts traffic around the so-called E1 area, a vast tract of land that is slated to connect the settlements around occupied East Jerusalem with settlements that encroach further into the West Bank.

The “fabric of life” project is formed of highways and roads that divert Palestinian traffic away from Israeli settlers and are forbidden for Palestinians to use. These are also referred to as “sterile roads” by the Israeli military. Roads that divert settlers away from Palestinian towns are referred to as “bypass” roads.

Some 3,000 Palestinians are at risk of forcible displacement within the E1 area.

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