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Israeli forces demolish 5 wells in Hebron

June 14, 2011 1:59 P.M. (Updated: June 14, 2011 8:55 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished five water wells in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday morning, targeting a neighborhood in the city's south.

The wells belonged to the Al-Jamal family, brother of the owner Samir Abdul-Hamid Ma’an.

Soldiers and crews from Israel's Civil Administration arrived on the property early, Samir said, assaulting family members who attempted to prevent the demolitions and then deploying tear-gas to drive them out of the area.

Five wells were destroyed and filled-in, "under the guise that they were built without a license," Samir said.

An Israeli military spokesman said border police securing the area had used "riot dispersal mechanisms" in the area, but officials from the unit could not be reached for comment, nor could a representative of the Civil Administration.

On 30 May, eight wells near Jenin were demolished by order of the Civil Administration, which said the wells were unlicensed.

A spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration said the wells had not been approved by the Joint Water Commission, a body set up under the Oslo Accords. According to the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Israeli partners on the committee "constantly vetoed Palestinian water projects, hindering any development.

"Due to the non-functioning management of the water sector there are no water recycling pumps that will allow the people to have enough water for agriculture," the spokesman noted, though researchers say attempts to build water treatment facilities have been stymied.
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