Thursday, November 25, 2010

Israel Demolishes Mosque in Tubas

Three video reports, the first two by Press TV and the third by Al Jazeera
Tubas mosque razed
Source: Ma'an News Agency

TUBAS (Ma’an) -- Israel's Civil Administration demolished a building in the Tubas area on Thursday which villagers use as the only mosque in the small town.

Residents of Khirbet Yarza, a village of less than 200 residents, said Israeli bulldozers entered the Jordan Valley area early in the morning and tore down the mosque, saying document indicated that it was demolished because it lacked a proper permit.

Local spokesman delegated by the PA Ahmad As’ad said villagers had papers proving the mosque was legal, and that it was built before 1967, when Israeli forces occupied the West Bank.

A Civil Administration official said the building was demolished along with eight sheds which were built without permits in an area that Israeli forces had declared a firing zone.

"The extension on the building which workers said could have been a mosque was unsafe," he said, refuting claims that the structure had been in place for as long as villagers claimed.

"They got the evacuation order three months ago and the demolition order after that, they had a chance to appeal it in the court," he added.

The spokesman from the village, whose residents depend on small-scale farms and livestock raising for their living, did not indicate that the issue had been taken to the Israeli courts.

Since 1967, Israel has designated close to 18% of the West Bank a closed military zone for the purposes of military training, according to UN documents.

"Israel's planning regime in Area C directly contributes to poor living conditions confronting many Palestinians in the West Bank," a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs said.

According to Israeli officials, "citizens have the time to arrive and appeal at the civil administration offices," but according to the UN, few appeals succeed, being unable to satisfy severely restrictive policies.

Most recent demolitions echo similar incidents which prompted a December 2009 UN report, which notes that "Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, while in the remaining 30 percent, a range of restrictions virtually eliminate the possibility of obtaining a permit."

The OCHA report noted that some 39% of the West Bank falls under the category of "state land," noting that the area is "four times more than the territory taken up by the built-up are of settlements." The issue was particularly acute for residents of the Jordan Valley, the report said, "where almost all of the area falls under the jurisdiction of two Regional [Settlement] Councils."

In practical terms, the UN office has noted, "in almost the entirety of the Jordan Valley, Palestinian construction is prohibited."

[Wake up] Israelis demolish another Palestinian mosque [Nov 25, 2010]:

"multioym | November 25, 2010

Israelis demolish Palestinian mosque

Israeli forces have destroyed a Palestinian mosque in a small town in the occupied West Bank, violating the primary rights of Palestinian people.

The attack took place in Tubas early on Thursday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Villagers said that the mosque was built before the 1967 Israeli occupation.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli troops demolished at least seven Palestinian structures in the eastern part of the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers also destroyed a number of shelters used to house cattle in Abu al-Ajaj, a small village in the Jordan Valley.

Witnesses say Israeli forces attacked the residents who tried to defend their properties and arrested several Palestinians.

Israel occupied the West Bank during the Six-day War in 1967.

Israel demolishes Palestinian mosque in West Bank - PressTV 101125:

"newsupload2010 | November 25, 2010 | 1 likes, 0 dislikes

Israel demolishes mosque:

"AlJazeeraEnglish | November 25, 2010

Israeli forces have demolished a mosque and several other buildings in the northern Jordan valley.

They say the structure was built without a permit but residents say the mosque was built before 1967 and was recently renovated.

The Palestinian government has condemned the action as state destruction, while Israel continues to fight for Israeli settlers.

Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh reports from the Jordan Valley.

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