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Israeli forces demolish 4 Palestinian homes built without permits

April 4, 2016 11:43 A.M. (Updated: April 4, 2016 5:45 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Monday demolished four homes across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem that they said had been built without permits -- the latest in a wave of demolitions that has left hundreds homeless since the beginning of the year.

In the village of Surif north of Hebron, Israeli forces tore down a 170-square-meter home belonging to local resident Azzam Mahmoud Gheimat, and lived in by his brother and family of six.

Gheimat told Ma'an he was "shocked" to hear that Israeli bulldozers under military escort had arrived outside the home on Monday morning.

He said Israeli forces prevented his family from taking anything out of the house and the Israeli officer present refused to give them a chance to appeal to the Israeli authorities.

"He told us the order was issued on Oct. 28, 2015, but we had no idea about this decision," he said.

Gheimat said a scuffle broke out, during which soldiers assaulted his mother as well as several neighbors.

Meanwhile, in the community of Khirbet al-Marajim, west of the southern Nablus village of Duma, Israeli forces were reported to have torn down two homes belonging to Jamal al-Taweel and Hisham al-Jabrawi.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an the demolitions took place without prior notice, and that Israeli forces had sealed off the area as a closed military zone.

In occupied East Jerusalem, meanwhile, Israeli forces demolished a 120-square-meter home that they said had been built without the necessary permits.

Israeli forces were reported to have stormed the al-Farouq area of Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood and demolished a house belonging to local resident Abed al-Basit Abu Rmeila.

Abu Rmeila said the house was built five months ago and that he had lived there with his family of six.

Early Monday, another three houses were torn down in the village Qabatiya south of Jenin as punishment for an armed attack carried out by three youths who were subsequently shot dead in Jerusalem in February.

The demolitions come amid the most extensive demolition campaigns in the occupied West Bank in the last seven years, which has left more than 650 Palestinians homeless in under three months, more than half of whom were children, according to UN figures.
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