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Israeli bulldozers demolish Khirbet Tana for 6th time

March 2, 2011 5:18 P.M. (Updated: March 3, 2011 9:20 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A herder village east of Nablus was demolished by Israel's Civil Administration for the sixth time on Wednesday, a Palestinian official confirmed.

Early Wednesday morning, 13 Israeli patrol cars and three military bulldozers arrived in the hamlet of Khirbet Tana, and demolished the tents and sheds recently re-built by residents, Ghassan Doughlas, the Fatah official charged with monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an.

According to AFP, there were 20 structures taken down.

On a recent visit to the hamlet, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Maxwell Gaylard said of the fourth demolition, that "under international law, Israel, as the occupying power in the oPt [occupied Palestinian territories], is prohibited from destroying property belonging to individuals or communities except when absolutely required by military operations."

Gaylard had condemned the demolition, saying "if the authorities ultimately responsible for these demolitions could see the devastating impact on vulnerable Palestinian communities, they might reflect upon the inhumanity of their actions."

On the occasion of the sixth demolition, Doughlas said he considered the act a "clear assault on Palestinian citizens’ rights," and noted the families living in the hamlet, who subsist on herding livestock and animal husbandry, were determined to "rebuild what was demolished."

Khirbet Tana is one of two Bedouin hamlets that have been targeted over the past months, with a second south of Hebron, Amniyr, demolished in mid-February. In both cases, residents have been herding in the area for years, and say they have nowhere else to go. In the case of Amniyr, residents said settler harassment had driven them from all other traditional grazing grounds.

On Feb. 9, 17 and 20, tents donated to residents of Khirbet Tana by the International Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority were destroyed by Israeli forces.

A representative of Israel's Civil Administration said that the Feb. 17 demolitions were a part of "routine law enforcement activity against illegal building," and confirmed that approximately 19 buildings were destroyed.

The Civil Administration could not be immediately reached for comment on the latest demolition on Wednesday.
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