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Springwater continues to be vital to Palestinian farmers, but recently, at the settlers' initiative, many springs on the other side of the Green Line have been turned into tourism sites from which the Palestinians are barred. Hebrew-language signs have been posted near many springs; some places have become memorial sites for settlers killed in terror attacks or during military service.
"The takeover of the springs, while blocking access to the Palestinians, is only one reflection of an extensive project being implemented by the settlers with the full backing of the state," says Etkes. "They are trying to appropriate for themselves points of unique historical and landscape value such as nature reserves, lookout points and archaeological sites."