BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished four homes in the northern Jordan Valley on Thursday, a local official said.
Eight Israeli border guard jeeps and two civil administration vehicles arrived with bulldozers and tore down three homes in the Abu Ajaj area of al-Jiftlik, as well as a home in a nearby hamlet, said Khalil al-Damin, a local committee member.
The Israelis demolished the homes claiming they were built in "Area C" without permission of the Israeli government, al-Damin told Ma'an.
Area C, designated in the Oslo Accords, encompasses around 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and is under full Israeli control.
In 2012, Israeli demolitions in Area C displaced 815 Palestinians, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says.
Most Palestinians cannot obtain permits from Israel to build or rehabilitate their homes, UNOCHA says, adding that it is illegal under international law for Israel to displace civilians or destroy their property in the West Bank.
"Demolitions and forced evictions deprive people of their homes and disrupt livelihoods, leading to entrenched poverty and increased aid dependency," the UN agency said in January.
"The impact on children can be particularly devastating, including depression, anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder," it added.