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Israeli authorities deliver stop-work order to Hebron building site

March 28, 2016 2:27 P.M. (Updated: March 28, 2016 6:12 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Monday delivered an order demanding that a Palestinian company halt construction on a structure in the village of Idhna near Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

The building under constriction belongs to Khalid Muhammad al-Batran, who began work a year ago and said he had not received any demolition notices until now.

Al-Batran told Ma’an he was surprised on Monday when he received the stop-work order.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli authority in the Palestinian Territory, said in a statement to Ma'an that the construction site, which was located in Area C, had not received “the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, as required by (Israeli) law.”

COGAT added that the owner was given a time frame to submit a request to receive a construction permit.

The majority home demolitions in the occupied West Bank occur in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control. In order for Palestinians to build in Area C, land owners must obtain building permits from the Israeli authorities. Such permits are nearly impossible to obtain for Palestinian, forcing communities to build illegally.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) found that between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of 2,020 Palestinian building permit requests submitted were approved.

As of mid-February, the number of Palestinians displaced due to Israeli demolitions in 2016 was already equivalent to over half of the total number displaced in all of 2015, a senior UN official said last month.
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