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Israeli demolitions leave 25 homeless in Jordan Valley

May 21, 2014 9:44 P.M. (Updated: May 23, 2014 10:56 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished 20 structures belonging to a Palestinian family in the northern Jordan Valley, leaving 25 people homeless as a result.

Israeli civil administration forces reportedly arrived in the village of Jiftlik on Wednesday morning and demolished 20 structures belonging to the Deis family, 13 of which were residential steel structures while seven were steel structures used as barns for animals.

Spokesperson for the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Guy Inbar said that the "structures were built illegally without the permits needed," adding that the case had already gone to the Israeli high court and the residents were found to have lost.

"It gave them the possibility to demolish the structures by themselves, but after a months passed and they didn't, the civil administration went and enforced the law," he said.

In response to the incident, Jericho governor Majed al-Fityani condemned the Israeli practices of home demolition and said that Israel is "violating the rights and international laws against war crimes."

Al-Fityani added that these assaults "aim to damage the only source of living for farmers and citizens."

The governor demanded the international community "show some responsibility and stop Israel from committing these war crimes."

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the West Bank. Palestinian residents are rarely given permits to build or repair their homes, while Jewish settlements have expanded greatly in recent years.

Israel has destroyed more than 248 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem so far in 2014, displacing 492 people, according to UNOCHA.

The Jordan Valley is within the 61 percent of the occupied West Bank it is under full Israeli military control as "Area C."

Area C comprises the only contiguous piece of land connecting 227 Palestinian residential communities in areas A and B as well as about 150,000 Palestinian residents.
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