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Israeli forces demolish houses, steel structures near Nablus

May 12, 2014 10:16 A.M. (Updated: May 14, 2014 11:12 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli military forces demolished a number of homes and steel structures south of Nablus on Monday, a Palestinian official and an Israeli spokesperson said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that dozens of military vehicles raided the village of Khirbet al-Tawil and demolished steel structures, water wells, and several homes made from corrugated iron, without providing further details.

An spokesperson for Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed the demolitions in a statement.

"Today (Monday) early in the morning security forces carried out the demolition of 7 buildings that were built illegally inside firing zones," the statement said.

"The sites were demolished after its owners appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice and their appeals were erased with their consent to exhaust possible procedures."

COGAT said the firing zones, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, were used by the Israeli army "on a regular basis for trainings."

On April 29, Israeli forces demolished a mosque and three houses in Khirbet al-Tawil, affecting 29 people, 21 of which were minors, a statement by the EU said.

EU missions in East Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned the demolitions and called on Israel "to meet its obligations regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian population in Area C, including by halting the forced transfer of population and demolitions of Palestinian housing and infrastructure."

Israel demolished over 500 Palestinian structures throughout the US-brokered peace negotiations.

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.

Area C makes up about 61 percent of the occupied West Bank. Under the terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO, it is under full Israeli military control.

Last year, the World Bank reported that Israel's control over Area C deprives the Palestinian economy of an estimated $3.4 billion a year.
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