Israel Demolishes Structures near Hebron, Raze Land in Salfit

HEBRON, July 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished three Palestinian-owned structures in the town of Idhna, west of Hebron, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to local sources.

Local sources told WAFA that an Israeli army force accompanied by heavy machinery broke into the town in the early morning before they proceeded to demolish two workshops and a store, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext. The force also confiscated some equipment in one of the workshops.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C, under full Israeli administrative and military control, is strictly limited, forcing Palestinians residing in such areas to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between December 30, 2014 and January 12, 2015, the Israeli authorities demolished 27 structures in Area C of the West Bank and five in East Jerusalem, in addition to two self demolition incidents, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits.

Area C, teeming with Israeli settlements and outposts, makes up 60% of the total area of the West Bank, making the chance of a viable Palestinian state near to impossible.

“Most Palestinians are forced to build without a permit to meet their needs. In many cases, displacement is due to cumulative pressure created by a combination of factors, including settler violence, movement restrictions (including the Barrier) and restricted access to services and resources,” says OCHA.

It adds, “In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacement is primarily driven by a number of occupation-related policies, including those linked to settlement activity. In Area C and East Jerusalem, each year hundreds of Palestinian homes and other structures are demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits.”

“The restrictive planning system makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain permits, while providing preferential treatment for Israeli settlements.”

In a related story, Israeli forces razed an agricultural road in Yasuf village to the east of Salfit.

Escorting two bulldozers, Israeli forces raided the village, where the bulldozers flattened a newly-constructed road to the east of the village.

This came ten days after Israeli units confiscated construction equipments from the construction site.