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Israel demolishes car washes, building under construction in Area C

Dec. 7, 2016 8:55 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 7, 2016 8:55 P.M.)
(Photo: B'Tselem, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities carried out three demolitions in the villages of al-Nabi Samwil and al-Khalayleh in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that “enforcement measures” were carried out against two buildings and a structure under construction in the two villages for being built without Israeli-issued permits.

Official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported that two of the buildings were car washes.

Al-Nabi Samwil and al-Khalayleh are located in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in Area C, forcing most Palestinians to build without permits.

All building in Area C, whether by Palestinians or Jewish settlers, comes under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Civil Administration, which has full control over all zoning and planning issues.

In practice, almost all Palestinian applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration granting only a handful of permits.

Demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have seen an unprecedented surge this year, with the number of structures demolished in the first half of 2016 well exceeding the total number of demolitions carried out in all of 2015.

More than 1,569 Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of 2016 as a result of demolitions in the occupied territory, compared to 688 Palestinians displaced over the entirety of 2015, according to UN documentation.
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