Israeli Military Demolishes Structures near Hebron

HEBRON, August 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli military Tuesday demolished a house and an animal barn in the village of Khushum ed-Daraj, south of Hebron, and an agricultural facility in the nearby town of Beit Kahel, according to local sources.

Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the Antri-Settlement Commission, said an Israeli army force accompanied by bulldozers raided the village of Khushum ed-Daraj, and proceed to demolish a residential structure belonging to Mousa Hathalin, a local Palestinian, which houses his ten family members. Army also demolished an animal barn belonging to Hathalin, under the pretext of construction without permission.

Meanwhile, Farouq al-Atawneh, mayor of Beit Kahel, said an army force raided the town in the morning and demolished an agricultural facility belonging to Iyad Mahfouz, a Palestinian resident, also under the same pretext.

Both villages are located in Area C, under complete Israeli control, where Israel rarely issues construction permits for Palestinian residents, forcing many of them to embark on construction without obtaining permits.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli authorities prohibit Palestinian construction in vast areas of Area C citing various rationales, such as “defining these areas as state land, survey land, firing zones, nature reserves and natural parks, or by incorporating lands into the jurisdiction of settlements and regional councils.”

B’Tselem estimated that from 2006 until 30 June 2015, Israel demolished at least 876 Palestinian residential units in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem), causing 4,105 people – including at least 2,011 minors – to lose their homes.