BETHLEHEM, August 6, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday demolished a tire repair shop and another structure in Bethlehem district, said two local activists.
Taha Hamamra, a local activist, told WAFA that Israeli forces demolished a tire repair shop at the western entrance of Husan village to the west of the city purportedly for being built without an Israeli building permit.
The Palestinian owner of the shop was identified as Bajes Shusha.
This was the second time Israeli forces demolished a property for Shusha. Almost a year ago, a flower shop belonging to Shusha was demolished.
Moreover, forces demolished a structure belonging to a Palestinian in the area opposite to the tunnel checkpoint between Beit Jala and Jerusalem. The Palestinian owner was identified as Tareq al-Walaji.
Israel rarely grants construction permits to Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and regularly demolishes structures built without permits, forcing Palestinians to embark on construction without permit to shelter and provide their families with livelihoods.
Having no other choice, many Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli control, are forced to build without permits to be able to provide a shelter for their families, risking in the process having their buildings demolished.
Humanitarian and legal bodies and institutions such as the United Nations, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and B’Tselem confirm that the planning policies applied by Israel in Area C and East Jerusalem discriminate against Palestinians, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.
“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” OCHA reports.
Data from OCHA’s Protection of Civilians weekly report, covering a two week period starting from 14 July 2015, indicate that Israel demolished 10 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank during this period, displacing 16 Palestinians.
Data also reveal that demolition has been taking place at a weekly average of 17 structures in the West Bank Area C and three structures in East Jerusalem, displacing 19 Palestinians from Area C and two Palestinians from East Jerusalem.