December 18, 2010

40 rendered homeless in demolition by Israeli Occupation Forces




Al Jazeera - Israeli bulldozers demolished seven houses in the city of Lydd - inside the Green Line - under the pretext of "missing permits", a few days after demolishing houses and barns in the village of "Khirbet Tana" east of Nablus in the northern West Bank under the same pretext.

Hundreds of Israeli police and Special Forces surrounded the demolition area in the city of Lydd, and evacuated residents from their homes.

Al-Jazeera's correspondent in Israel Elias Kram described an appalling scene, and said he saw a number of children crying while the rest of the family members were stunned and in a state of shock.

Kram said that "missing permits" is always the argument adduced by Israeli authorities, pointing out that Israeli authorities do not offer any permits to the Palestinian population inside the Green Line.

He pointed out that Israel - citing city officials - demolished about 170 houses during the last five years in the city of Lydd and Ramla adding that there are 60,000 houses in the cities of Haifa, Acre, Ramla and Lydd, in addition to the Galilee and the Negev, under threat of demolition.

Al-Jazeera's correspondent said that the Palestinian leadership inside Israel is trying to contact the Israeli authorities to develop a plan to avoid demolition, noting that the contacts did not yield any results and Israeli authorities "dramatically" demolished Palestinian homes.  


Israeli bulldozers during the demolition of homes in the village of al-Taweel, Negev.

More Demolitions:

These demolitions come four days after the Israeli army destroyed the houses and barns in the village of "Khirbet Tana" east of Nablus in the northern West Bank under the pretext of construction without a permit, where nothing is left in the village but its mosque.

Palestinian official in charge of Settlement Archive Ghassan Douglas said that Israeli bulldozers went to the village early Wednesday, and embarked on the demolition of their homes as well as a school of 3 classrooms.

Douglas added that this is the third time in a row that the Israeli authorities conduct demolitions in the village where they have demolished about 45 houses in earlier periods.

Human Rights Watch stated that obtaining building permits is almost impossible for the Palestinian population, indicating that the Israeli Civil Administration has rejected 94% of the requests for building permits to the Palestinians in the West Bank between 2000 and 2007, according to government figures.

On the other hand, the Israeli Civil Administration facilitates granting of such permits to settlers for the construction of new buildings and retroactively grants permits to buildings already constructed by settlers. 

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