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Israeli forces continue demolition campaign across West Bank

April 7, 2016 1:00 P.M. (Updated: April 8, 2016 12:38 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished structures across the occupied West Bank in Nilin, Khirbet Tana, and Khan al-Ahmar on Thursday, according to local sources and the United Nations.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli forces demolished a structure for painting vehicles in the village of Nilin i
n the central West Bank district of Ramallah belonging to Khalid and Yassir Isteih, employing some 15 Palestinians.

The sources added that Israeli forces also demolished a poultry slaughterhouse near the military checkpoint in Nilin belonging to Issa Abed al-Ghani Srour that employed some 72 Palestinians.

According to an initial statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, ongoing demolitions were carried out Thursday in Khirbet Tana, the fourth documented incident in the northern occupied West Bank village this year.

Khirbet Tana lies in an Israeli-declared military training zone, known as a "firing zone," which rights groups say Israel intends to fully annex.

Nearly 20 percent of the occupied West Bank has been declared "firing zones" since the 1970s, but according to the UN, recent research shows that nearly 80 percent of these areas are not in fact used for military training.

OCHA added that housing demolitions by Israeli forces were also reported on Thursday in the Bir al Maskoub area of Khan al-Ahmar, which is located between the illegal Israeli settlements of Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumi.

A spokesperson for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Thursday's demolitions are part of the most extensive campaign 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 them children.

(MaanImages) Demolitions in Nilin, April 7, 2016

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