Israeli bulldozers demolished nine Palestinian structures in the West Bank villages of Al-Hadidiya and Al-Jiftlik late last week.
By Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org
Israeli bulldozers demolished nine Palestinian structures in two communities in the Jordan Valley last Thursday.
The structures belong to three Palestinian families who live in Area C in the West Bank village of Al-Hadidiya in the northern Jordan Valley and the town of Al-Jiftlik in the central West Bank. Palestinian communities living in Area C are under full Israeli military control. The residents were previously notified by the Israeli authorities that their structures lack the necessary building permits, which are often nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain (between 2010 and 2014 the Civil Administration granted just 1.5 percent of requests).
Omar Besharat, a resident of Al-Hadidya, told +972 that the army arrived at 8:30 a.m. and asked the residents to evacuate their belongings, adding that he had received no prior notification from the authorities. The army demolished Besharat’s home, along with five other structures, including several animal pens.
This was the fifth time since 1982 that Besharat’s structures have been demolished. He had been living in the house since 2012. “Last year I was asked to submit some documents to the Israeli authorities in order to obtain a permit. I did so, but my application was rejected,” Besharat said.
An hour after the demolition of Besharat’s home, the bulldozers headed south to the town of Al-Jiftlik, where trhey demolished three structures belonging to two families. According to the residents, the families were notified of the imminent demolition in July.
The demolitions in the Jordan Valley raises the number of total Israeli demolitions over the past week to four, with the previous ones taking place in Masafer Yatta near Hebron, and Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem, where homeowners demolished their own homes to avoid paying the demolition costs.
Muataz Besharat, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, told +972, “What is being done by the occupation in the Jordan Valley and Area C in general is very clear. The aim is to transfer the Palestinian residents.”
According to the latest OCHA report, a total of 29 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized by Israeli authorities in September, leading to the displacement of 51 people. The report indicates that seven of those structures were donated by the EU and other donors, and that the September demolitions were below the 2018 and 2017 monthly averages.