Saturday, September 23, 2017

Israeli forces demolish two houses in Bethlehem and a playground in Silwan


By Marta Feirra - March 29, 2016
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Israel demolished two houses belonging to Palestinians on Monday in Bethlehem, near the Israeli separation wall and a military checkpoint north of the city. On Tuesday a privately-owned playground was demolished in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan.

Khader al-Jirashi told Ma’an News the Israeli military demolished two homes, a metal barn and a playground he owned in northern Bethlehem. He added that after carrying out the demolition, Israeli bulldozers and excavators proceeded to level a tract of land of several acres while escorted by Israeli military vehicles.

Al-Jirashi said the demolition was carried out without prior notice. He said, however, that it was not clear whether his properties were in Area B or C, although he insisted the structures were built legally in Bethlehem with the necessary permits from the Palestinian Authority.

While demolitions are frequent in Area C – around 60 percent of the occupied West Bank that is under full Israeli military control – demolitions in Area A and B are less common and a violation of the Oslo Accords of 1993.

Silwan resident Khalid al-Zeir told Ma’an News that armed Israeli forces escorted excavators early on Tuesday morning to a playground he built in the al-Abbasiyya area of Silwan.

According to al-Zeir, the excavators levelled his land and demolished a playground he had built, a storage room and fences, and some trees were also cut down.

The owner was notified by Israel’s Nature and National Parks Authority that his playground was built on “historically important archaeological area”, where construction is prohibited.

The local Wadi Hilweh center said Israeli authorities are escalating demolitions in Silwan, with at least four demolitions having been carried out in the neighbourhood this month.

Last week, the UN warned the village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan Valley faced the risk of “forcible transfer” after a wave of Israeli demolitions left more than a third of its residents homeless.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in the demolitions are part of one of the most extensive demolition campaigns in the West Bank in recent year, which left more than 650 Palestinians homeless in less than three months.

 

 

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