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Israel's development plans are booming in the Salfit district.
Israeli construction teams are hard at work as cranes lift and lower building materials on the hilltops, expanding Ariel University - the first settler university established in the occupied West Bank - and the Ariel West industrial zone.
The seemingly untouched hills of olive trees create a picturesque view for the some 65,000 settlers residing in 24 illegal Israeli settlements scattered across the district.
This reality, however, has only been made possible through the relentless expulsion of Palestinians from their lands, as each Israeli development begets Palestinian loss, according to locals.
Most recently, Israel announced plans to construct the first train line for Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, connecting the Ariel settlement - one of Israel's largest settlements with a population close to 19,000 - to cities and towns inside Israel.
The project is expected to be completed by 2025 and cost up to $1.16bn.
"This railway will confiscate more land from us and devastate more families," Abed al-Karim Zubeidi, the mayor of Salfit, told Al Jazeera. "This means more environmental and economic destruction.
"But this is occupation. Israel uses our land to build for its people and we are pushed to the side and left with nothing."
This article first appeared on www.aljazeera.com
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