Villagers: Israel to demolish 17 structures in al-Aqaba
Published Thursday 26/01/2012 (updated) 27/01/2012 17:26
A factory demolished by Israeli bulldozers.(MaanImages/file)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday handed out 17 demolition orders to residents of al-Aqaba village in the Jordan Valley, residents told Ma'an.
Only a day earlier, Israeli forces had handed out 12 demolition orders in the Tubas village, the local mayor said.
The local popular committee says the village has been harassed by the Israeli army since 1967 when Israel occupied the West Bank.
Around 50 villagers have been killed or injured. Al-Aqaba has faced closures and been cut off to neighboring cities and towns by checkpoints and in 1999 Israel destroyed the village's water supply, phone and electricity networks. Two main roads leading to the village were destroyed last year as well as homes, barns and greenhouses in the area.
The destruction of services and Israel's confiscation of village land have displaced around 700 residents, the committee says.
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.
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.