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Israeli forces raid Palestinian house near Bethlehem, turn it into military post

March 7, 2017 12:54 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2017 5:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli army forces on Tuesday morning occupied an under-construction building in the town of Tuqu east of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, turning the house into a military post.

Large numbers of Israeli troops were deployed on the rooftop of a house belonging to Juma Muhammad Ali near on the main road of Tuqu, near the al-Khansa school.

The house, he said, was undergoing interior finishing and was almost ready to be inhabited.

Israeli soldiers broke down the main doors and ascended to the rooftop where they raised an Israeli flag. The soldiers also placed sandbags at the windows of the house.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into the case.

Ali's house and the majority of Tuqu is located in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank where Israel retains full control over security and civil administration.

Under the jurisdiction of Area C, residents suffer under arbitrary policies of land classification, where they may not utilize any of their lands for building or farming in the areas without having proper authorization from the Israeli army.

Area C residents are also under constant threat of having their homes and businesses demolished at any moment, as obtaining Israeli-issued construction licenses for any sort of structure is virtually impossible.

It is also not uncommon for Israeli forces to forcibly evict Palestinians from their homes for the use of military posts.

Last month, Israeli forces raided Tuqu and took over a Palestinian home and turned it into a military post -- a house that overlooks the main road by the western entrance of the town, near where Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters last month, shooting and killing 17-year-old Qusay Hassan al-Umour.

In August, Israeli forces expelled a Palestinian family of 10 from their home in the village of Harmala near Tuqu in order to use the house as an Israeli military post.
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