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Hebron-area residents face multiple demolitions within a week

Nov. 21, 2016 12:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2016 9:20 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces delivered 20 demolition notices in the Um al-Kher village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Sunday, according to locals.

Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of a local committee that resists settlement activity, said that Israeli Civil Administration workers escorted by armed Israeli forces delivered the demolition notices to Suleiman al-Hathalin and Shuab al-Hathalin.

The notices ordered demolitions on both Suleiman and Shuab’s homes, barns, barracks and residential caves.

Al-Jabour added that Israeli forces “took Suleiman to a depopulated area and assaulted him,” resulting in injuries and bruises all over his body.

He called upon international human rights organizations to “immediately intervene to stop savage Israeli policies and violations.”

A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that 13 orders were issued for “buildings that were being built without the required permits” in Um al-Kher, adding that the orders included “a subpoena to the oversight subcommittee to a meeting where the buildings’ owners will be able to present their claims.”

The spokesperson added that a Palestinian was detained after laying in front of one of the Israeli authorities’ vehicles to prevent the demolition.
Last week, Israeli forces had detained Suleiman al-Hathalin and demolished a residential barracks and a tent, without previous notice, during a raid on Um al-Kher.

COGAT told Ma’an at the time at "an enforcement" was carried out against two "illegal structures" in Um al-Kher, "after all the necessary warrants were approved."

Demolitions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have seen an unprecedented surge this year, with the number of structures demolished in the first half of 2016 already well exceeding the total number of demolitions carried out in all of 2015.

More than 1,383 Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of 2016 as a result of demolitions in the occupied territory, compared to 688 Palestinians displaced over the entirety of 2015, according to UN documentation.

According to the UN, the overall rate of Israeli demolitions since 2015 has exceeded every year since the UN began monitoring the practice in 2009.

A large number of Israeli demolitions are carried out due to Palestinian homeowners not obtaining Israeli-issued building permits, though Palestinians are rarely granted permits by Israeli authorities to build, forcing many to build illegally.

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