Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian House in Ramallah

Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian House in Ramallah

The policy of homes demolitions is considered as 'collective punishment' by human rights groups such as B'tselem [Alaa Badarneh/EPA]

Israeli forces on Wednesday tore down a house under construction in the village of Beit Sira, west of Ramallah city, as part of a massive demolition campaign targeting Palestinian homes.

Hamed Hamdan, head of Beit Sira village council, told WAFA news agency that a large Israeli force escorted two bulldozers into the village, where the heavy machineries demolished the under-construction house purportedly for being built without a license.

The house, which belongs to Ahmad Abu Safia, who received a demolition notice several days ago, was located close to the permanent military checkpoint leading to Route 443.

Route 443 is the main traffic artery linking the West Bank hub of Ramallah with Beit Sira, Beit Liqya, Kharbatha al-Misbah, Beit 'Ur at-Tahta, Beit 'Ur al-Fuqa, Saffa and at-Tira. It also serves as the main road linking Jerusalem with the West Bank colonial settlement bloc of Modi'in and Tel Aviv in central Israel.

The demolition triggered confrontations, during which soldiers opened fire towards local protestors. No injuries were reported though.

Israel demolishes 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 estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.

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