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Israeli forces deliver stop-work notice in Hebron-area village

July 1, 2017 2:40 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2017 8:03 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces delivered a stop-work notice to a Palestinian home in the Khillet Ibrahim area of western Idhna village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron for lacking nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permits.

The house, which belongs to Jamal Muhammad Abu Zalta, measures 150 square meters in area, Mayor of Idhna Muammar al-Tmeizi told Ma’an.

Five Palestinians reside in the home, according to al-Tmeizi.

Al-Tmeizi also pointed out that two-thirds of the village’s area has been declared Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the occupied Palestinian territory under full Israeli military control as a result of the Oslo Accords.

Israeli forces essentially prohibit Palestinian construction in Area C, as the land is typically reserved for the expansion of Israel's illegal settlements. As a result, Palestinians in Idhna are forced to risk demolitions and stop-work orders since their lands in Area C are the only spaces left for the village to build on, according to al-Tmeizi.

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, was not immediately available to comment.

On Thursday, Israeli forces also delivered a stop-work order to Sharif al-Jiawi for a one-story home in the al-Ras area of western Idhna in which six family members are currently residing.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, although 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.

Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.

According to UN documentation, 247 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished thus far in 2017 across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 417 people. In 2016, the UN recorded 1,065 demolitions across the occupied Palestinian territory.
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