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Israel demolishes structures across West Bank, East Jerusalem

March 16, 2016 10:12 A.M. (Updated: March 16, 2016 10:22 P.M.)
An Israeli soldier stands guard as an army bulldozer pulls down the house of a Palestinian family near Hebron on January 20, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished three structures and issued demolition orders for a further two in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In the village of al-Khader south of Bethlehem, Israeli forces tore down a two-story home under construction belonging to local resident Judah Masoud Mousa.

The 200-square-meter home, which lay in the village's western al-Sharaf neighborhood, was built on land classified as Area C, without permission from the Israeli authorities.

Further to the south, in Wadi Rahhal, Israeli forces tore down an agricultural shack belonging to local resident Amir Hussein al-Kamil, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Meanwhile, in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces tore down a clothing warehouse in the neighborhood of Dahiyat al-Barid.

Fadi Imtour said Israeli forces demolished the 300-meter storehouse rented by his brother Shadi on the pretext that it had been built without a license. He said Israeli troops also detained his brother, before releasing him a few hours later.

Officials from Jerusalem's municipality also issued demolition orders to two homes in the al-Thuri area of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

The buildings in question belong to locals Ismail Abu Saloum and Muhammad Abu Saloum, and relatives told Ma'an that 11 people live in the homes, which were built 21 years ago.

They added that the family had paid "thousands of shekels" in fines and had been unable to obtain a construction license.

On Tuesday last week, Israeli rights group B'Tselem condemned an "unusually massive demolition campaign" across the West Bank that had left 435 Palestinians, including 234 minors, homeless since January.

According to the group, in the first week of March alone, Israel had torn down 17 dwellings, 19 agricultural structures, and a school in two Jordan Valley communities, one in the Nablus area and the other near Jericho -- leaving 64 people homeless, including 28 minors.

"These demolition operations impose an intolerable reality on the residents of the communities," B'Tselem said. "This governmental policy, implemented systematically for years, constitutes the forced transfer of protected Palestinian residents within the occupied area."
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