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Israel demolishes homes, structures in Nablus-area village

Feb. 15, 2016 3:40 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 15, 2016 3:40 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli bulldozers under army escort on Monday demolished a number of Palestinian structures built without construction permits in the northern occupied West Bank district south of Nablus's Khirbet Om al-Rashash village, locals said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli troops forced residents, as well as foreign activists, to evacuate the structures for immediate demolition.

Daghlas said the structures included corrugated metal homes, barns and brick buildings.

Residents said Israeli forces issued demolition orders on structures two weeks prior to the demolition.

While demolitions in the occupied West Bank decreased by 10 percent in 2015 from the previous year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 539 Palestinian-owned structures were still demolished, leaving many Palestinians homeless.

The majority were demolished in Area C, which accounts for 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control, on the grounds of lacking building permits.

In order for Palestinians to build in Area C, land owners must obtain building permits from Israeli authorities.

However, OCHA found that between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of 2,020 building permit requests submitted were approved.

"Official data released by the Israeli authorities indicate that over 11,000 demolition orders -- affecting an estimated 17,000 Palestinian owned structures, including homes -- are currently ‘outstanding’ in Area C of the West Bank," OCHA said in a statement last year.

At least 77 percent of demolition orders against structures are located on private Palestinian land.



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