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PLO: Israel demolished over 500 Palestinian structures during talks

April 29, 2014 5:26 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2014 6:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel demolished over 500 Palestinian structures throughout the US-brokered peace negotiations, the PLO said in a statement Tuesday.

Citing figures from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the PLO said Israel demolished a total of 508 Palestinian structures, 312 of which were homes, from July 30, 2013 to April 29, 2014.

"As a result, 878 persons were forcibly displaced," the statement said.

The report said that in one case, Israel demolished an entire Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley.

Israeli bulldozers destroyed "the entire community of Khirbit Makhoul (home to 120 Palestinians). In this case alone, more than 20 families became homeless as part of an Israeli plan to deport indigenous Palestinians living in the area."

"Israeli occupation forces also prevented the distribution of humanitarian aid by the government of Palestine and international organizations. The community was surrounded by the illegal settlements of Hmeidat and Roi as well as by an Israeli occupation military camp," the statement said.

Additionally, the report noted that 61 Palestinians died as a result of actions by Israeli forces throughout peace talks. Some 1,100 were been injured.

Some 3,674 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces, it added.

The US-brokered peace talks made little visible progress, and hit a major stumbling block in late March when Israel refused to honor a commitment to free two dozen veteran Palestinian prisoners, prompting Abbas to resume recognition moves by signing 15 international treaties.

Furious, Israel immediately unveiled economic sanctions by freezing tax monies it collects on behalf of Ramallah and suspending a joint natural gas drilling project off the Gaza coast.

A political source quoted by the Walla news website said the freezing of tax monies was "just a first step" and that more was to follow after Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip announced a surprise unity deal aimed at ending years of rivalry.

AFP contributed to this report.
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