APN | Masafer Yatta – Hebron
31 August 2023
Following yet another eviction attempt by the occupation, the residents of Masafer Yatta defiantly returned to their homes on a tractor. They confront daily challenges as a result of the prohibition on using buses and cars to access Masafer Yatta, a region comprising 19 villages and hamlets inhabited by Palestinians displaced from the Beersheba and Naqab areas since the Nakba in 1948. This isolation has severed the area from its natural surroundings.
The Zionist occupation declared Masafer Yatta as part of Military Training Zone 918 in 1977. These areas are classified by the Israeli army as firing zones, which means they are closed military areas where entry and residence are prohibited. These firing zones cover 17% of the areas classified as Area C according to the Oslo Accords of 1993. According to the agreements, Masafer Yatta is located in Area C under Israeli control, which constitutes about 61% of the West Bank.
These regions, characterized by their agricultural, pastoral, and natural reserve qualities, are a focal point of APN's work. The organization aims to ensure the security and well-being of the inhabitants by planting trees and safeguarding the lands from confiscation. These areas often face the risk of being subjected to Israeli land laws, which can lead to confiscation if they are deemed uncultivated for a period of three consecutive years.
On the same tractor that transported the people of Masafer Yatta back to their homes, were APN’s 300 fruit trees dedicated to Palestinians who are safeguarding the land until its liberation. The activity was conducted in partnership with the "Sun of the Traveler" event.