JENIN, April 14, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces Thursday knocked down a Palestinian-owned charcoal facility in the village of Barta’a to the southwest of Jenin district, according to a local official.
Head of Barta’a village council, Tawfeeq Qabaha, informed WAFA Israeli armed soldiers, accompanied by bulldozers, demolished a 250 square-meter facility in the predawn hours, citing unpermitted building as a pretext. The facility belonged to Basim Fathi ‘Amarneh, a local from Jenin’s town of Ya’bad.
Clashes reportedly broke out between soldiers and Palestinian locals in the vicinity of the said facility, where the former used tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets against Palestinian locals, causing several suffocation cases among them.
Forces further announced the area a closed military zone, and prevented workers and locals from entering or leaving the village, which is located is area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli military control.
Meanwhile, forces also demolished an agricultural structure as well as destroyed the solar cells in the area, citing the same pretext.
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).
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”.