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Official: Israel demolishes mosque for third time

Oct. 11, 2011 1:49 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2011 1:07 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a mosque in the village of Khirbet Yarza in the northern West Bank, a local official said.

Head of Al-Malha village council Aref Daraghma told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers and civil administration officials demolished the mosque, which is less than 60 square meters.

This is the third time in seven months that the mosque has been demolished, Daraghma said.

In addition to the mosque, several Bedouin structures were demolished on the pretext that they were built without permits, he added.

From 2000 to 2007, the Civil Administration approved 5 percent of the applications for building permits submitted by Palestinians in Area C. The total number of building permits issued to Palestinians during these seven years was 91, an average of 13 building permits per annum, reports Bimkom, an Israeli organization for planning rights.

According to the UN agency OCHA, in the first six months of 2011 Israeli authorities demolished 342 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, including 125 residential structures, displacing a total of 656 Palestinians, including 351 children -- almost five times as many demolitions and people displaced as during the first half of 2010.
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