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Israel orders stop-construction of Palestinian homes near Bethlehem

Nov. 4, 2018 3:09 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 5, 2018 4:42 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces delivered stop-construction orders, on Sunday, to four Palestinian-owned houses that were recently renovated in Shushahla area, in the al-Khader village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

According to local sources, large numbers of Israeli forces along with several Israeli Civil Administration staff members, stormed the area and delivered stop-construction orders to the Palestinian residents of the four houses.

Sources added that the orders were delivered under the pretext of being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Sources mentioned that the residents were ordered to evacuate the area after 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and were threatened of being detained if they do not evacuate.

The Shushahla area is located in Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, where Israel refuses to permit Palestinian construction.

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

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory issued a report that the month of July recorded the highest number of Palestinian structures Israel has demolished or seized (54), and of Palestinian civilians displaced (97) in the occupied territories, since January 2017.

The report said that the cumulative number of structures targeted so far in 2018 (251) has remained below the figure in the equivalent period of 2017 (286). All of the demolitions carried out during July 2018 took place under the pretext of lack of building permits.

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