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Israeli forces deliver stop-work orders to 7 Palestinian families in Kafr al-Dik

March 21, 2017 2:56 P.M. (Updated: March 21, 2017 7:46 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces delivered stop-work orders to seven Palestinian families in the village of Kafr al-Dik west of Salfit in the central occupied West Bank late Monday evening, local sources told Ma’an.

Mayor Jamal al-Dik said that Israeli troops stormed a neighborhood in the west side of the village known locally as "al-Khilal" and delivered stop-work warrants to seven families.

The families, he said, were told they must stop construction work on their homes, which are located in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control where Israeli authorities only approve 1.5 percent of building permit applications for Palestinians, according to the United Nations.

Al-Dik told Ma’an the families would start legal procedures to appeal the Israeli orders.

The houses belong to Ahmad Bakr, Yazid Darwish, Jamal Mustafa, Mahmoud Mustafa, Ashraf Naji, Hussam Mustafa Naji, and Ibrahim Naji, according to al-Dik.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that "the constructions in question were illegally built in C area's where construction requires the approval of the qualified authorities, therefor warrants to stop construction were served."

On Sunday evening, Israeli authorities also delivered demolition and stop-work orders to a Palestinian family in the southern occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar, located in Area C.

As Israel almost never gives Palestinians permission to build in land classified as Area C, residents are forced to build their homes without permits and “live in constant fear of their homes and livelihoods being destroyed,” Israeli rights group B’Tselem has said.

Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied territory in 2016 than in any year since the United Nations began documenting demolitions in 2009, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

According to UN documentation, 1,093 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israeli authorities, displacing 1,601 people.At least 173 demolitions have been reported in the Palestinian territory since the start of 2017, displacing 299 people as of March 6.
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