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Israeli forces demolish 18 structures in Jordan Valley

Aug. 5, 2015 2:01 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2015 10:10 P.M.)
Palestinians from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh wave their national flag as they stand on a house after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers under the pretext that there was no construction permit. (AFP/Abbas Momani/File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished 18 homes and agricultural stores belonging to Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley without giving prior warning, local officials said.

Mutaz Bsharat, an official in the Tubas governor's office, said that the demolitions took place in the villages of al-Aqaba, Khirbet al-Yirza and al-Miteh after the Israeli authorities claimed the structures, which were mostly made of tin, did not have the necessary permission.

Israeli bulldozers accompanied by officers from Israel's Civil Administration reportedly demolished three agricultural structures and one home in the village of Aqaba.

Israeli bulldozers demolished five structures belonging to three families in Khirbet Yirza, and nine structures belonging to four families in Miteh.

Governor of Tubas Rabeeh al-Khandakji said that the demolitions were carried out without prior warning.

He said that Israel's violations will not prevent the Palestinian people from moving toward statehood, adding Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people will eventually be taken before the International Criminal Court.

Under the Oslo Accord, building permits must be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration for construction to take place in Area C.

As a result of rarely-approved permits, however, Palestinian residents are often forced to build structures without permits, which are liable to be torn down later by Israeli forces.

Last year Israel demolished 601 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 1,215 people.

The UN said it was the highest annual number of people affected by the policy since it began keeping records in 2008.
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