Israeli forces demolish six Palestinian shops near Nablus overnight

Published March 17th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
A file photo of a Palestinian woman standing inside her demolished home. (AFP/File)
A file photo of a Palestinian woman standing inside her demolished home. (AFP/File)

Israeli forces demolished six stores in the Beita village market in southern Nablus overnight Wednesday, due to the structures reportedly lacking proper licenses.

Imad Hilal, owner of one of the demolished stores, said that Israeli bulldozers raided the market around 12 a.m. escorted by several military jeeps and demolished six fruit and vegetable shops, as well as a washroom near the western and southern areas of the market.

Meanwhile, in the nearby Salfit district, Palestinian activist Khalid Maali said Israeli forces demolished a steel structure in the village of Kafl Hares.

Maali said the structure belonged to a Palestinian identified as Hassan Masoud Abu Yaqoub.

Last month the Coordinator for Humanitarian and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, called for "an immediate halt to the destruction of Palestinian-owned property in the occupied West Bank."

“Most of the demolitions in the West Bank take place on the spurious legal grounds that Palestinians do not possess building permits,” Piper said in a press release. “But, in Area C, official Israeli figures indicate only 1.5 per cent of Palestinian permit applications are approved in any case. So what legal options are left for a law-abiding Palestinian?”

Earlier this month, Israeli rights group B'Tselem condemned an "unusually massive demolition campaign" across the West Bank that had left 435 Palestinians, including 234 minors, homeless since January.

According to the group, in the first week of March alone, Israel had torn down 17 dwellings, 19 agricultural structures, and a school in two Jordan Valley communities, one in the Nablus area and the other near Jericho -- leaving 64 people homeless, including 28 minors.

"These demolition operations impose an intolerable reality on the residents of the communities," B'Tselem said. "This governmental policy, implemented systematically for years, constitutes the forced transfer of protected Palestinian residents within the occupied area."

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