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Israeli settlers demolish under-construction house in Nablus-area village

Dec. 10, 2016 2:43 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 11, 2016 2:42 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli settlers before dawn on Saturday demolished an under-construction Palestinian home in the northern occupied West Bank village of Burqa in the northwestern Nablus district, according to local officials.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that dozens of extremist Israeli settlers from the illegal Homesh settlement used tools to demolished the under-construction house around 4 a.m.

Daghlas added that the 150-square-meter house belongs to Iyad Fathi Tareq Abu Diak from the village of Silat al-Dhahr between Nablus and the northern Jenin district.

A spokesperson from Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) -- the authority responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policies in the occupied West Bank -- told Ma'an "no claim was made to the Israeli side and during a check with the owner he said that he doesn't know who did it."

An estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in 196 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in contravention of international law, and a further 232 settler outposts considered illegal both by international law and Israeli domestic law -- despite Israeli authorities commonly retroactively legalizing the outposts, according to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ).

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces, who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, along with Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously condemned Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settler violence or investigate attacks that occur on a frequent basis.
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