RAMALLAH, January 17, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities on Monday demolished three Palestinian-owned commercial stores in Kharbatha al-Misbah, a village located to the west of Ramallah, according to local sources.
An Israeli army force broke into the village in the early morning hours, before they proceeded to demolish a car repair workshop, a commercial store, and a stone-cutting shop, citing building without obtaining a permit as a pretext.
The three stores are owned by local Palestinians identified as Ahmad Daraj, Hamdi Kraiker, and Ahmad al-Habiyeh. To be noted, the said stores are located adjacent to the Israeli-only road 443, which was built by the occupying power, Israel, on land taken from Palestinian landholders.
The village is located in Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli military control. Israel rarely issues construction permits to Palestinians in area C, forcing many to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.
Area C covers 60% of the West Bank, which was temporarily divided into three parts – A, B and C – under the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Today nearly 300,000 Palestinians live in Area C, while nearly 360,000 Jewish settlers live in 135 settlements and 100 settlement outposts, which are illegal under international law.
According to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between 1988 and 2014, Israel’s Civil Administration, the governing body that operates in the West Bank, issued 14,000 demolition orders, of which more than 11,000 are still outstanding and could result in the demolition of up to 13,000 structures owned by Palestinians in Area C, including houses, sheds and animal shelters.
The report found the planning and zoning regime applied by the Israeli authorities, including the way land is allocated, “made it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits in most of Area C”.