BETHLEHEM, Monday, May 11, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday ordered a halt on the construction of some 13 houses and a park in Nahalin town, located to the west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, said a municipal source.
Head of Nahalin Council Hani Fannoun said that an Israeli military force and staff of the so-called Israeli Civil Administration raided the town, and handed notices to eight Palestinian villagers, ordering them to halt the construction of their houses, at least three of which are inhabited, purportedly for being built without licenses.
The soldiers also ordered a stop on the construction of a public park and retaining walls in the same town.
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.
The “Civil Administration” is the name Israel gives to the body administering its military occupation of the West Bank.
Soldiers in the oxymoronically named Civil Administration determine where Palestinians may live, where and when they may travel (including to other parts of the occupied territories like Gaza and East Jerusalem), whether they can build or expand homes on their own land, whether they own that land at all, whether an Israeli settler can takeover that land among others.