Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian house in East Jerusalem., Aug.21, 2019. Photo credit: AP
Scores of Palestinians have been on tenterhooks as the Israeli occupation forces threatened the demolition of their family homes in the southern occupied West Bank district of AlKhalil on Monday.
Local sources said Israeli forces handed out demolition orders to eight Palestinian families in AlKhalil, leaving dozens of civilians anxious over the fate of their children and relatives.
Coordinator of the Protection and Steadfastness Committee, Fuad Al-Amouri, was quoted by local sources as saying that the houses are located between the Carmel and Susiya villages in Yatta.
The activist added that the targeted buildings are owned by Annan Abd Rabbo, Muhammad Zain, Khalil Rubaei, Mahmoud Rubaei, and Qasim Abu Tahfa.
Al-Amouri pointed out that the demolition notifications has come at a time when attacks by occupation soldiers and settlers against Palestinians in Yatta had intensified, forcing Palestinians out of their homes.
Last week, Israeli human rights center B’Tselem warned that Israel demolished a record number of Palestinian homes in 2019 over permit issues and as a punitive measure aiming to displace Palestinians from their own land.
According to B'Tselem figures, Israel demolished 106 housing units in 2019, more than it did in both 2017 and 2018. The demolitions have left 349 Palestinians homeless, including 160 minors.
The rights monitor said this policy is immoral and constitutes collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law. Nevertheless, the justices of the Supreme Court repeatedly dismiss petitions brought by Palestinians against these demolitions, relying on an unreasonable interpretation of international law and acceptance of the state’s arguments, including the claim that the policy is meant as a deterrent rather than a penalty - even though this claim has never been proven.