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Israeli forces demolish 15 structures, including 8 homes in Jericho outskirts

Sept. 13, 2017 5:10 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 14, 2017 12:10 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces demolished 15 Palestinian-owned structures, including eight homes, in a Bedouin community southwest of Jericho city in the occupied West Bank's Jordan Valley region early Wednesday morning.

Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the Esteih al-Duyuk area southwest of Jericho before dawn and demolished eight residential structures and six dry stone retaining walls, used to protect agricultural land in the area from water and soil pressure.

The buildings were also located in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and military control. Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.

Jericho’s mayor Majid al-Fityani called on legal institutions and NGOs, both locally and internationally, to intervene to force Israeli authorities to stop their daily violations against Palestinians, which he said "aim to create new reality" in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Al-Fityani added that Israeli authorities were "delusional" in thinking that such measures will stop the residents and Bedouins in Jericho from "resisting and standing strong."

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for enforcing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that a total of 15 structures were demolished in the area, due to their proximity to "the archaeological site of the Hasmonean palaces in Jericho."

Israeli authorities regularly use archaeology to justify the demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned earlier this year that 46 Palestinian Bedouin/herding communities are "at risk of forcible transfer due to a coercive environment generated by Israeli policies and practices, which create pressure on many residents to leave their communities."

Israeli authorities reportedly confiscated cattle and water tanks belonging to Palestinians in a remote Jordan Valley village on Tuesday, and agricultural machinery in the northern Jordan Valley region the day before that.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces also demolished a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood on Wednseday mornng, displacing eight Palestinians, including four children.
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