Israeli forces raze house in Bethlehem-district town

BETHLEHEM– Israeli forces Wednesday morning razed a Palestinian house in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, according to a local source.

The town mayor, Ibrahim Musa, said that the occupation soldiers escorted a bulldozer into the southern West Bank town, where the heavy machinery demolished a 100-square-meter house belonging to Ahmad Salah, purportedly for being built without a license.

He added that several parts of the town, most notably the Umm Rukba and Baten al-Ma‘si, have seen a spike in home demolitions as well as in stop-construction notices as part of an Israeli plan to displace the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants from the areas and make room for colonial settlement expansion.

The Israeli occupation authorities demolish Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.

Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.

In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives the over 700,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.

Source: Palestine News and Information Agency