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Israel demolishes 9 Palestinian structures in Jordan Valley

Feb. 5, 2016 2:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 5, 2016 5:55 P.M.)
Jordan Valley, April 2014. (AFP/File)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday demolished five homes and four other Palestinian-owned structures in the Jordan Valley town of Tammun in the occupied West Bank.

A spokesperson for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told Ma'an that Israel's Civil Administration as well as security forces demolished the structures because they were built illegally "without necessary permits."

"As part of this enforcement, five residential tents and three buildings that were used as sheds, and a tin construction used as a restroom were demolished," COGAT said.

Images sent by COGAT show a European Union symbol on the side of the structures, suggesting they may have been internationally donated.

Israel routinely demolishes “illegally built” Palestinian homes and structures in areas under military occupation where building permits are difficult for Palestinians to obtain.

In the last week of January alone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs documented the destruction 42 of Palestinian-owned structures across the occupied Palestinian territory. The demolitions displaced 168 people, including 94 children.

Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley -- nearly all of which lies under complete Israeli control in Area C -- are particularly vulnerable and have for decades faced pressure from Israeli authorities to leave the area.

Last month the Israeli army forcibly displaced a Palestinian herding community, Khirbet al-Ras al-Ahmar, for nine hours during a military training exercise.

The community is one of at least 88 Palestinian Bedouin herding communities who reside in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as closed military zones intended to be used for military training, according to UNOCHA.

An image sent by COGAT on Feb. 4, 2016 of structures demolished in Tammun.

An image sent by COGAT on Feb. 4, 2016 of structures demolished in Tammun.

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