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Israel delivers stop-work orders to Palestinians in al-Arrub refugee camp

July 18, 2017 7:08 P.M. (Updated: July 18, 2017 7:08 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces ordered two Palestinian families in al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron to halt construction work on their homes Tuesday.

According to official Palestinian sources cited by Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency, Israeli Civil Administration crews under armed Israeli military escort stormed the camp and delivered the stop-work orders to Ahmad Ghanem and Abd al-Fattah Jawabrah.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the agency responsible for enforcing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, confirmed to Ma'an that the warrants were served against the "illegal construction foundations adjacent to al-Arrub village," for being built without the nearly impossible to obtain permits required by Israel to build in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control.

Separately, according to Wafa's report, the Israeli military also took pictures of two other homes in the camp, presumably in preparation to demolish them. The COGAT spokesperson did not comment on the matter.

A number of homes in the Hebron area have been delivered stop-work orders in recent weeks.

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, 256 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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