The small Palestinian village of Kisan, nestled atop the rugged, picturesque hills of the occupied West Bank, has faced intensified Israeli land theft and settler attacks in recent months. Kisan – some 18km (11 miles) south of Bethlehem – is surrounded by several illegal Israeli settlements and outposts, including Ma’ale Amos, Mizpe Shalem and Abei Hanahal, constructed on large tracts of private land expropriated from Palestinian owners. Weeks ago, Israel announced it would be seizing hundreds of hectares of village land, located southeast, to be turned into a “nature reserve”, according to the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission.
In May, local media reported the village was informed by the Israeli army that new settlement units would be built on lands west of the village, after which settlers began razing the land. In late June, residents reported 20 mobile homes for settlers were set up in the area, estimated at more than 50 dunams (5 hectares). The town’s 600 residents also experience violence at the hands of Israeli settlers living nearby on an almost daily basis, with a number of children injured on roads by settlers who deliberately target them. Settlers accuse Palestinian children of throwing stones at them, according to Israeli media.


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