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Israeli forces deliver stop-work order for Palestinian home in Jordan Valley

June 11, 2017 4:13 P.M. (Updated: June 12, 2017 1:18 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reportedly delivered a stop-work order to a Palestinian resident of the Humsa area in the northern Jordan Valley region in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

State-run Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted the mayor of the nearby village of al-Malih, Arif Daraghma, as saying that Mahmoud Bisharat was told to halt construction work on a makeshift home he was building until July 17, after Israeli forces demolished and dismantled tents he was using as shelter.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an, however, that "a stop-work order was issued against a building that was built without the approval of the competent authorities" in Humsa, adding that the owner of the building was told they "must evacuate it within three weeks."

The demolition orders were the latest amid a spate of incidents targeting Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley, including settler attacks and multiple home demolitions since the beginning of the year.

The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C -- under full Israeli military control.
Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.

Israel almost never gives Palestinians permission to build in land classified as Area C, leaving residents no choice but to build their homes without permits.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have advanced construction plans for illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank -- including in the Jordan Valley-- at an arming rate since the beginning of the year. 

According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, plans for 4,909 settlement were promoted since the beginning of 2017 -- 85 percent more than the housing units promoted during all of 2016 and in half the time. 
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