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Israel orders halt construction of Palestinian home in al-Walaja

Oct. 21, 2018 2:05 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2018 3:58 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army ordered the halt of construction of a Palestinian-owned house, on Sunday, in the al-Walaja village, west of the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

According to local sources, the Israeli army stormed the al-Walaja village and delivered the halt of construction order to the owner.

Sources said the Israeli army ordered Hasan Mustafa Salah to halt construction of his 120-square-meter home, under the pretext of being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Sources added that the Israeli army were seen taking photographs of several Palestinian homes in the area.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, 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, despite living in settlements that violate international law.

Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.

According to Palestinians and rights groups, Israel's overall goal, both in its policies in Area C and Israel's settlement enterprise, is to depopulate the land of its Palestinian residents and replace them with Jewish Israeli communities in order to manipulate population demographics in all of historic Palestine.

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