Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Israel demolishes more houses in Jordan Valley

Israel demolishes more houses in Jordan Valley
Sari al-Khalili, Press TV, Tubas
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 22:50:48 GMT

Israeli Demolishes More Homes in West Bank Jordan Valley
Sunday, 08 August 2010 08:07 Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

On Thursday 5 August, Israeli authorities demolished 37 structures in the Jordan Valley village of Al Farisiye, leaving about 170 people homeless. According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, the army arrived in the village at 6:30am with two bulldozers and 13 jeeps to evacuate the villagers and destroyed 26 homes and 11 other structures in one hour.

This is the second wave of demolitions that has struck the community in less than two weeks. At the end of July the Israeli army demolished over 50 structures belonging to 22 Palestinian families living in the area, including residential structures, and barracks that were used to shelter animals and store agricultural equipment.

The 37 structures demolished last Thursday included 27 emergency tents recently given to the community by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority in response to previous demolitions, as well as 10 additional structures that were spared during the previous demolition.

At this point in time, almost the entire community has been demolished. A total of 113 people were affected in the previous demolition. 92 of the same individuals have been affected again, and an additional to 22 people, including 11 children, who were not affected during the previous wave of demolitions, have now lost their homes.

Residents of Al Farisiye have been evacuated to a nearby village, and their livestock, which were not confiscated, are now nearby Tubas. On Tuesday of last week the army also seized one of the village's tractors.

The majority of the families in the area have resided there since the 1970s. According to the Israeli military, the structures were demolished during the previous attack because they are located in an area designated as a "closed military area", though areas with that particular distinction cover around 18% of the West Bank. This includes much of the Jordan Valley, excluding, however, the Israeli settlements in the area. The demolitions come in the wake of recent threats by the Israeli Ministry of Defense to step up enforcement against "illegally" built Palestinian structures in the West Bank, and by increased aggressive actions against Bedouin communities in the Negev.

In addition, last Wednesday, 4 August, the Israeli military demolished 2 Palestinian structures in in 'Azzun Atma of the Qualqylia Governorate. The structures were used for were used for livelihood-related purposes, and effect a family of 3 people.

The same day, the Israeli forces demolished several water-related structures, including a water cistern, in the Hebron Governorate.

This brings the total number of structures demolished in the West Bank and Jerusalem to at least 230 from January – July 2010.

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