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Israeli forces deliver demolition notices for homes in Qalqiliya-area village

Sept. 8, 2017 2:28 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2017 10:19 A.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israel’s civil administration delivered 13 demolition notices to several families in the village of Jit in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Thursday, as a resident told Ma’an the move was an attempt to “intimidate” the village.

The orders stated that the families had until the end of the month to present appeals against the demolition orders. Omar Yamin, a member of the village council, told Ma’an that some of the homes threatened with demolitions are near the Kedumim settlement in the north and near the Gilad settlement toward the south.

The village council is expected to challenge the demolition notices, he said, adding that the homes were not yet approved by the Israeli civil administration and the village has been working to obtain this approval in order to prevent demolitions in the future.

Yamin told Ma'an that it was “unlikely” that the homes would actually be demolished by Israel, and that he instead saw the move as political and an attempt by Israeli authorities to “intimidate” the residents.

Yamin added that Israel’s civil administration had previously delivered demolition notices to homes in the village, but the demolitions were halted after being challenged by lawyers.

If these demolitions are carried out, at least 60 Palestinians would become homeless, Yamin added.

A spokesperson for the Israeli civil administration told Ma'an that the notices were stop-work orders, owing to "illegal construction n Area C, which was not approved by the competent authorities in accordance with the law."

"Continued enforcement will be carried out in accordance with the procedures," the spokesperson added.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including 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.

According to UN documentation, 325 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished thus far in 2017 across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which has displaced 495 Palestinians. In 2016, the UN recorded 1,065 demolitions across the occupied Palestinian territory.
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