Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Workshop, Structures in West Bank

WEST BANK, March 11, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities demolished on Wednesday a stone-cutting workshop in the village of Barta’a al-Sharkiya, to the west of Jenin, and animal barns in the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, according to local sources.

In the village of Barta’a in the north of the West Bank, an Israeli army force accompanied by heavy machinery demolished a workshop, currently under construction, under the pretext of unpermitted construction.

The village of Barta’a is divided into two parts, the eastern which falls under Palestinian administration and the western which is controlled by Israel.

After the 2003 construction of the Israeli Separation barrier, which ran through the West Bank separating Palestinian villages and families, eastern Barta’a was trapped in a closed military zone, between the 1967 line, also known as the Green Line, and the wall.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), since the building of the separation wall, eastern Barta’a is part of a totally enclosed enclave with two restricted entry/exit gates to rest of the West Bank.

Barta’a residents must have a permit to live in and to enter and leave the enclave. Every person who wants to enter the enclave must also apply for a permit.

Meanwhile, head of the village council of Beit Iksa, Sa’ada al-Khateeb, said an Israeli army force and a bulldozer broke into the village in the morning, and demolished animal barns and tents owned by a local resident.

The village of Beit Iksa has also the same status of the village of Barta’a. Only the residents of Beit Iksa are allowed entry into the village and anyone who wants to access the village or the Olive lands around the area needs to obtain an access permit and cross a permanent checkpoint.

The Israeli army also demolished Palestinian-owned animal barns in the nearby village of Zabda, under the same pretext and razed a road leading to a Granite workshop southwest of Jenin.

The Israeli authorities rarely grant construction permits to Palestinians in the West Bank, and regularly demolish structures built without permits.