NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished three stands at a farmers’ market in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus before dawn on Thursday for lacking Israeli-issued building permits.
The mayor of Beita, Wasif Maala, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers escorted by Israeli forces raided the village’s farmers’ market at 2:30 a.m. and started demolishing stands.
Israeli forces had previously carried out demolitions
at the market in March.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the agency responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that “enforcement measures were taken against four illegal buildings in Beita,” adding the demolitions took place after “all relevant orders were issued.”
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 -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control -- are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.
Demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have seen an unprecedented surge in recent months
, as Israeli authorities demolished 905 Palestinian structures in the occupied Palestinian territory so far this year, in a large increase from 453 in all of 2015, according to UN documentation.