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Israel issues 6 stop-work orders in Bethlehem village

Oct. 17, 2012 11:26 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2012 2:54 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday issued orders to villagers to stop construction on their homes near Bethlehem, locals said.

The orders state that construction work on the homes in Tuqu is illegal, as they are located in Area C, locals told Ma'an.

The villagers have until Nov. 7 to visit Israeli civil administration offices.

The homes belong to Khalil Suliman, Mahmoud Suliman, Salim Suliman, Rebhi Suliman, Adnan Subeih, and Kamal Suliman.

Area C covers 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000.

Israel retains military authority and full control over building and planning in Area C and as much as 70 percent of it is inaccessible to Palestinians, classified as Israeli settlement areas, firing zones, or nature reserves.

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.

Many Palestinians living in Area C are left with no choice other than to build without a permit.
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