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Israeli forces delivers 14 demolition notices to Palestinian structures in Area B

Aug. 8, 2017 4:42 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 8, 2017 8:54 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities raided the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday to issue demolition orders for 14 structures.

Silwad Mayor Abd al-Rahman Saleh told Ma’an that the demolition orders were issued over allegations that they were built without the necessary Israeli-issued construction permits.

Saleh noted, however, that the structures were located in Area B, under combined Palestinian civil and Israeli military control, not in Area C -- the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civilian control -- meaning that they should not be required to receive Israeli building permits.

One of the 14 structures is a private school, which has been operating for more than 10 years and is the only private school that serves villages in eastern Ramallah.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing the Israeli government’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that 10 stop-work warrants were issued in Silwad, claiming that they were located in Area C, and added that the owners could appeal the decision to the COGAT supervision subcommittee.

According to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ) Silwad’s lands are divided up between Area A, B, and C, with more than 60 percent of the village’s lands falling into Area C.

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, 286 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished thus far in 2017 across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 435 people. In 2016, the UN recorded 1,065 demolitions across the occupied Palestinian territory.

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