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Israeli forces demolish structures near Jenin, Ramallah

April 25, 2017 9:05 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2017 11:26 A.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities reportedly demolished multiple Palestinian-owned structures and leveled Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in two separate incidents on Tuesday.

Official Palestinian news Agency Wafa reported that Israeli forces demolished seven structures in the town of Nilin in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

Deputy Mayor in Nilin Abdul Hafiz Musleh told Wafa that Israeli forces raided the town at 3 a.m. and demolished the structures, which were being used to sell food products. According to the report, the structures were demolished for being located too close to an Israeli military post. 

Separately, Israeli forces bulldozed structures and land at the entrance to village of Arraba in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, after four Palestinian families were ordered to leave the area, Wafa reported.

Muhammad Abu Hantash, owner of a local ceramics store, told Wafa that Israeli soldiers raided the area and ordered the residents, who also raise livestock there, to leave for alleged security reasons.

After razing the area, Israeli forces blocked it off with cement blocks to prevent locals from accessing the site, Wafa reported.

Meanwhile, the news agency said that Palestinians in the village of Jubbet al-Dhib were notified that an elementary school under construction in the town was slated for demolition by Israel’s Civil Administration, which enforces Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In response to a request for comment on the incidents, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) only confirmed the demolitions in Nilin, saying the seven structures were built without the necessary permits.

Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C -- the more the 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control, are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally, and placing them under the constant risk of demolitions at the hands of Israeli forces.

Israel demolished a record 1,093 structures in the occupied Palestinian territory in 2016, displacing 1,601 Palestinians, which the UN said were the highest demolition and displacement figures on record.

Meanwhile, the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory are more easily given building permits and allowed to expand their homes and properties.
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