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Israel to demolish 10 Palestinian homes in West Bank despite having permits

Israeli forces watch as a bulldozer demolishes a Palestinian house near the village of Beit Awa, west of the occupied West Bank town of al-Khalil, September 23, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities have issued demolition orders for the homes of ten Palestinian families in the West Bank, as the Tel Aviv regime goes ahead with its land expropriation and settlement construction policies in the occupied territories.

The measure comes despite the fact that the house owners hold legal building permits in the villages of Deir Qaddis and Ni'lin near Ramallah, Palestine’s Wafa news agency, citing a local source, reported on Monday.

Emad Khawaja, head of the Ni'lin village council, said given the fact that the land the houses have been built on is under the civil jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, they possess legal permits.

This photo released by the Palestinian Wafa news agency shows an Israeli demolition order issued for the destruction of a Palestinian’s house in the West Bank village of Ni'lin. (via Wafa news agency)

However, he said, Israel claims that the houses have been built near the controversial separation wall that separates Palestinian-owned lands from illegal Israeli settlements.   

According to local sources, Israel is planning to build a new settlement outpost on the Palestinian-owned land.  

At least three illegal Israeli settlements are built on land expropriated from these two and other Palestinian villages in the same area.

Israeli authorities usually demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality if they do not. 

Israel has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land to construct and expand new illegal settler units in various areas in the West Bank.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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