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Israel demolishes 5 commerical buildings in Salfit

Dec. 4, 2018 3:21 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 5, 2018 5:01 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished five Palestinian-owned commercial buildings, on Tuesday, in the Haris village, west of the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit.

Local resident, Muhammad Suleiman, told Ma'an that Israeli bulldozers demolished five commercial buildings, a laundry place, carpentry workshop, blacksmith workshop, aluminum workshop, greenhouses, under the pretext that the structure was built in Area C without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Suleiman confirmed that the demolished buildings belonged to his three brothers, Fadi, Nadi, and Salah.

Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.

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

The 1995 Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israeli authorities divided the West Bank into Area A, B, and C. Area A, comprising the populated Palestinian cities and making up 18 percent of the West Bank, would be controlled by the newly formed PA, while Area B remained under Israeli army control with the PA controlling civil affairs. Area C, the majority of the West Bank, however, was placed under full Israeli military control and contains the majority of natural resources and open spaces in the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli-controlled land was expected to be gradually transferred to the PA over a five-year period, according to the Oslo agreements. Yet, almost two decades later, the land has remained under Israeli control.

Area C, along with East Jerusalem, has been the site of rapid Israeli settlement expansions in contravention of international law, while Israel’s separation wall has further divided Palestinian communities and has restricted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza from even visiting what was intended to be their capital.

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