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Israel reportedly demolishes Palestinian-owned car wash west of Salfit

Sept. 25, 2017 9:52 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 25, 2017 10:04 P.M.)
An Israeli soldier stands guard as an army bulldozer pulls down the house of a Palestinian family near the West Bank town of Hebron on January 20, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reportedly demolished a Palestinian-owned car wash Monday in the town of Deir Ballut, located west of Salfit in the central occupied West Bank.

Head of Deir Ballut municipality, Yehya Mustafa, told the Palestinian Authority's Wafa news agency that Israeli forces forced Palestinians to shut down their businesses located along the road that leads to the village of Kafr al-Dik before proceeding razing the car wash to the ground. 

Inn 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 "This particular event is not known to the Civil Administration. Today, there was no enforcement towards a car wash machine in (Deir Ballut)."

Wafa's report could not immediately be independently confirmed by Ma'an.

Deir Ballut is located in Area C, the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli military and civil control, where nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.

According to UN documentation, 330 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished thus far in 2017 across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 499 people. In 2016, the UN recorded 1,065 demolitions across the occupied Palestinian territory.

Palestinian villages in the Salfit area, including Kafr al-Dik, Deir Ballut, Rafat, Sarta, and al-Zawiya, have seen vast tracts of land confiscated for the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the western outskirts of the Salfit district over the years.

According to Bethlehem-based the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), at least 17 illegal Israeli settlements and four Israeli industrial zones have been constructed on Palestinian lands in Salfit.

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