Home Occupation 29/September/2020 11:43 AM

Israeli forces demolish structures near Tubas, seize broadcasting van

TUBAS, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday morning demolished two residential structures in Khirbet Yarza village, east of the northern West Bank city of Tubas, under the pretext of unlicensed building, according to WAFA correspondent.

He said that a large unit of Israeli forces, escorting military bulldozers, raided the village, where they cordoned off the area as the heavy machineries tore down two residential rooms belonging to Rami and Hafeth Masa‘id, displacing the occupants.

The soldiers, he added, prevented journalists on the scene from covering the demolition, and seized a Palestine TV broadcasting van.

He noted that the Israeli occupation authorities handed the Masa‘id brothers demolition orders a week ago, and this demolition was a part of the ongoing large-scale demolitions of residential and agricultural structures in this village, which all aim to force residents out of it and seize their land for colonial settlement construction.

Khirbet Yarza is a marginalized hamlet, and most of its lands are planted with Israeli landmines. 

The residents of Yarza, located in the area designated as C, which is under full Israeli military rule, make a living off shepherding and live in natural caves, in shacks, or in tents. Over the years, the Civil Administration has repeatedly demolished the community’s structures.

The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.

The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967, and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.

Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.

In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis, but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.

Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face a myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.

Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.

K.T./ K.F.

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