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17 Dec, 2015

Israel to Demolish Three Palestinian-owned Homes near Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, December 16, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Wednesday notified to demolish three two-storey homes belonging to local Palestinians in the village of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to local sources.

Ibrahim Salem, one of the owners, told WAFA that an Israeli army force stormed the village and broke into his house after smashing the front doors and while no one was present inside, where they left the demolition orders. The property is a home for a family of six members.

Army officers informed Salem that his house, along with two other homes belonging to locals Alaa Salem and Nour Salah, will be demolished, under the pretext that they were built without an Israeli-issued building permit.

Salem said that Israeli army gave them a period of 25 days to appeal the decision at the Israeli supreme court.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli administrative and military control, is strictly limited, forcing those living in this area to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between December 30, 2014 and January 12, 2015, the Israeli authorities demolished 27 Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank and five in East Jerusalem, in addition to two self demolition incidents, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) affirmed that the Israeli authorities do not only demolish Palestinian homes, but also hinder the issuance of any building licenses for Palestinians in Jerusalem and its boundaries.