JERUSALEM, July 26, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished 11 homes in the town of Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, under the pretext of construction without permission, according to local sources.
Witnesses told WAFA that an Israeli army force accompanied by heavy machinery broke into the town, and demolished 11 Palestinian-owned homes under the pretext of construction without permission.
The town is located in Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli civil and military control.
Issuance of construction permits by Israeli authorities for Palestinians in Area C, unlike for Israeli settlers, requires unreasonable fees that most Palestinians cannot afford to pay.
Over the course of 2015, Israel demolished 521 structures in Area C as well as in East Jerusalem, displacing 636 people, according to the UN monitoring group OCHA.
The vast majority of these demolitions were carried out on the grounds of construction without a permit. Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of applications for building permits in Area C were approved by Israeli occupation authorities, OCHA adds.
The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD) explains in a special report that “in almost all cases Palestinians have no choice but to build ‘illegally’ as permits are almost impossible to obtain.”
“Many Palestinians have suffered multiple displacements, having lost their homes and livelihoods more than once. Forced displacement has a series of immediate and longer-term physical, socio-economic and psycho-social impacts on Palestinian families.”