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10 Jordan Valley families given 24 hours to leave

June 28, 2010 3:50 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2010 8:56 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Ten families in the Jordan Valley were handed home demolition orders on Sunday and given 24 hours to evacuate their lands.

Most of the homes to be demolished belong to the Daraghmah and Al-Makahmreh families, who say they have documents proving their ownership of the land filed with Israel's Land Registry.

The families said they had been issued demolition orders before, however this was the first time they had been given a 24-hour notice.

A spokesman from the Israeli Civil Administration office said the orders were given because the homes are in a "fire zone", putting the residents "at risk."

The homes slated for demolition are in Al-Farsieyah in the Tubas municipality, all in “Area C”, under zoning regulations established under the Oslo Accords, putting them under Israeli civil and military control.

Several villages in Tubas have been targeted by home demolition orders in recent days. Six families in the villages of Al-Hadidiya and Khirbet Humsa were given 10 days to evacuate their land on 21 June, a move which would see 50 Palestinians homeless and without their livelihoods.

So far this year, 125 Palestinians have been displaced by home demolitions in “Area C”, which encompasses 60 percent of the West Bank and is under full Israeli military and administrative control, according to UN reports.

Palestinians can only build within boundaries specified by the Israeli Civil Administration, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has noted, an area that constitutes less than one percent of “Area C”, and much of this is already built up.

Effectively, "in almost the entirety of the Jordan Valley, Palestinian construction is prohibited,” a UN office reported in December 2009.

In a recent report, Amnesty International's deputy director, Philip Luther, remarked that "Demolition and eviction orders do not just destroy people's homes. They also take away their possessions and their hopes for a secure future,"

Last year, at least 600 Palestinians, half of them children, were made homeless by home demolition orders, the report said.

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