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Israel displaces 19 in Jordan Valley after demolitions

Aug. 21, 2015 7:30 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 22, 2015 11:21 A.M.)
A Palestinian bedouin woman stands next to her destroyed tent in the village of Atouf in the Jordan Valley. (AFP/ Saif Dahlah, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Eighteen Palestinian Bedouins were displaced after their homes were demolished by the Israeli Civil Administration in the Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank on Thursday, a rights organization said.

Israeli group B'Tselem reported that the Civil Administration and Israeli military representatives demolished the homes of two families in Khitbet Einun, totaling 11 people -- including 7 minors -- and a sheep pen.

The forces then demolished a home in the nearby Khirbet a-Deir community that housed an eight-person family including three children.

A spokesperson for COGAT, the body that coordinates activity by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, told Ma'an that "two pens, two abandoned temporary buildings and a summer-house which were built illegally were demolished in the Jordan Valley."

The Jordan Valley -- occupied with the rest of the West Bank in 1967 -- is in Area C, under full Israeli military and administrative control, and Palestinians living in the area must obtain permits from the Civil Administration to build on their land.

The thousands of Bedouins living in the Jordan Valley are regularly threatened with home demolition as permits are rarely granted and members of the current Israeli government are spearheading a plan to forcibly displace Bedouins living in the occupied West Bank.

The Habayit Hayehudi party (Jewish Home) reintroduced the Prawer Plan last month, which would displace tens of thousands of Bedouins from their dwellings into urban areas.

The party conditioned joining Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's government coalition in March on reinstating the plan.

Earlier this week on Tuesday Israeli authorities destroyed 12 Bedouin tents in the area of al-Fasayel in the southern Jordan Valley leaving 48 people homeless, including 31 minors.

United States Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday that the US was "troubled" by a recent increase in demolition and eviction rates of Palestinians by Israeli authorities.

Citing a displacement of over 150 Palestinians since the start of this month alone, Kirby said: "Such demolitions and evictions are harmful and provocative and indicative of a damaging trend, particularly given settlement-related activity and continued construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

The Department of State also condemned recent acts of violence carried out by Israeli settlers on Palestinians.

Last month, a Palestinian baby and his father died after an arson attack on their home was carried out by extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank village of Duma.

The violence brought a wave of criticism against the impunity and support granted by the Israeli government to the over 500,000 settlers living in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Comments
Luzer / USA
Israel was attacked by 5 Arab armies and successfully defeated all five...Jordan was lucky that a good portion of the land was returned but not all because of security issues. The Arabs living there are now on Jewish land and if they don't like it they are more than welcome to leave anytime.
22/08/2015 03:37
David / UK
The Jewish militias attacked and ethnically cleansed 750,000 non-Jews from their homes first. Israel, including the West Bank, isn't any more 'Jewish land' than France and Poland (or Germany for that matter) are 'Aryan land'. Only Nazis claim supremacist rights due to ethno-religious background.
25/08/2015 04:06
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