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Palestine’s Al-Hawiya spring under threat of Israeli annexation

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Al-Hawiya, one of the dozens of water springs in the historical Husan district of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, is facing the threat of usurpation by Israel.

Located in a valley surrounded by olive trees, among vegetable gardens, the water of the Al-Hawiya spring originates from the Husan mountains and collects in a small artificial pond.

Al-Hawiya spring and pond, with their natural beauties, provide local residents and Palestinians from different cities of the West Bank to have some fresh air and rest.

The owners of the gardens around the pond also use the spring water for the vegetables they grow.

However, it is feared that Israel, which previously confiscated approximately 4,000 acres of land belonging to the Husan district and established the illegal Betar settlement, will now usurp the water source, which has touristic and historical features.

Israel’s plan

At its weekly meeting on 17 July, the Israeli cabinet approved the allocation of a budget of 120 million shekels ($33 million) for three years, as part of the draft resolution presented by Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Amihai Eliyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Tourism Minister Haim Katz, aimed at “preserving antiquities in the West Bank.”

In his speech at the weekly Council of Ministers meeting in Ramallah on the same day, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh noted that Israel is trying to turn the historical Al-Hawiya region, famous for its water resources and ponds, into a religious and touristic place for Jewish settlers.

Shtayyeh called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to protect Palestine’s historical sites against “Judaisation and Israelisation” plans.

Source: SABC News

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