Mayor: Israel to demolish 12 Jordan Valley homes
Published Wednesday 25/01/2012 (updated) 25/01/2012 20:19
A man inspects the rubble of his home after it was demolished by Israeli
bulldozers near Bethlehem. (MaanImages/Haytham Othman, File)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have handed out 12 demolition orders to residents of al-Aqaba village, the local mayor said Wednesday.
The mayor of Tubas visited al-Aqaba and condemned Israeli threats to demolish homes and shelters in the village in a statement.
Israeli authorities usually demolish homes, wells, barns and infrastructure built without an Israeli permit in Area C -- the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says Israel only grants Palestinians permission to build in 1 percent of Area C, in places which are already built-up.
"More than 94 percent of all Palestinian permit applications have been rejected in recent years," UNRWA says.
Meanwhile, Jewish-only settlements continue to expand in the West Bank, and villages neighboring settlements are often the targets of demolition orders.
Al-Aqaba village is surrounded by Israeli military training bases and lies eight kilometers from the illegal Israeli settlement Maskiyot. Israel announced plans to expand Maskiyot in 2006.
UNRWA warns that home demolitions have a "devastating" impact on children.
"Many children affected by demolitions show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Their academic achievement often suffers."
Demolitions also deteriorate living conditions.
"Families and communities face increased poverty and long-term instability, as well as limited access to basic services, such as education, health care, water and sanitation."
The number of Palestinians displaced by demolitions doubled in 2011 compared to 2010, according to UNRWA figures.