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Palestinian village crippled by Oslo restrictions

Feb. 5, 2014 1:18 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 6, 2014 1:27 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) – “Either you issue an Israeli construction license before Feb. 19, or your houses will be demolished,” Israeli forces have warned Palestinian residents in a village southwest of Hebron.

Ribhi al-Hroub, his brother, and other residents live in the part of the village Deir Samit in the West Bank's Area C, a designation according to the Oslo Accord of 1994 which places it under full Israeli rule.

Al-Hroub told Ma’an Monday that Israeli officers told him that he should obtain a construction license for the house his family already lives in or it will be demolished.

“He (an Israeli officer) notified me that I should obtain an Israeli license, and when I asked where I could get it from, he said from the Civil Administration department.

“Then I asked him if they agree to give me a license, and he immediately said no.

“'On what basis do you give me a warrant asking to get a license if you know that I can’t get it?' I asked. 'This is my business,' he said. This area “C” is Israeli land and you are not allowed to build on it.'”

Commenting on the situation, the mayor of Deir Samit says the village can expand only to the east to meet its natural growth. To the west, he said, there is Israel’s separation wall, to the south there is the Israeli bypass road, and to the north there is the town of Idhna which is densely populated and surrounded by bypass roads and the separation wall.

“Every day or every week, Israeli forces arrive and deliver demolition and stop-work warrants. Two weeks ago, they demolished houses in Beit Awwa and Deir Samit,” the mayor said.

The only possible recourse is for powerless Palestinian residents to appeal to the Palestinian Authority and president.
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