Israel orders Palestinian village to be demolished

Israeli authorities order demolition of Palestinian homes in village in Hebron following Ramadan

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Israeli authorities have ordered Palestinian homes in a village south of Hebron be demolished after Ramadan, a statement from Israeli watchdogs reported on Wednesday.

Pressure from Israeli settlers living on originally Palestinian land led to the decision to carry out the demolition orders, according to B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation.

The Israeli Civil Administration, the Israeli army, and the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office, announced the order to demolish the villages in a meeting on Sunday.

The village of Khirbet Susiya contains the homes of about 300 Palestinian natives who will apparently be forced to move after Ramadan, although a high court hearing regarding the case has been scheduled for Aug. 3.

The village is situated in area C in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where construction is prohibited without Israeli oversight. In effect only a few Palestinian construction applications are accepted while Israeli settlement construction continues unabated.

Between 2000 and 2012 Israeli authorities approved only 6 percent of Palestinian requests for building permits.

Last year Israel demolished 590 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). As a result, 1,177 people were displaced.

The residents have been living under imminent threat of demolition since May, when the Israeli High Court approved the demolition order - which had been undergoing a court review since 2012 - removing tents and built homes, one of which serves as a school.

Over 300 hectares of Khirbet Susiya's land are already under the direct control of Israeli settlers, B'Tselem reported.

The organisation believes that expelling native residents of the area before the next high court hearing is the latest threat to peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

In other news, Israeli Air Force jets pounded several sites they claim were controlled by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in the Gaza Strip early on Thursday.

Israeli authorities claim a rocket from the coastal territory landed in southern Israel.

It was not possible to immediately confirm if the Palestinian rocket that allegedly fell near the city of Ashkelon before dawn caused any sort of damage, though warning sirens were reportedly heard in the area.

TRTWorld and agencies