Home Occupation 20/May/2022 01:59 PM

Israel orders halt on construction of house south of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, Friday, May 20, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today ordered a halt on the construction of a house in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, according to a local activist.

Mohammad Salah said that Israeli soldiers barged their way into the town and handed a resident a notice, ordering her to stop the construction of her two-storey house purportedly for being built without a license.

Meanwhile, the soldiers ordered a resident of al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, to tear down his residential room citing the same flimsy pretext.

Located 4 kilometers to the west of Bethlehem city, al-Khader has a population of some 12,500 and occupies a total area of 8,280 dunams.

Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given limited control over a small pocket of land occupying some 1,200 dunams, accounting for almost 14.5 percent of the village’s total area.  In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.

Since the start of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967, like so many other villages in Palestine, al-Khader has been subjected to almost continual land theft for Israeli settlements, bypass roads, and military installations.

Israel has constructed Efrat and Neve Daniyyel colonial settlements on an area of 6,329 dunums of Palestinian land, including a portion confiscated from al-Khader. It has also constructed a section of the apartheid wall, isolating some 5,620 dunums of the town’s land for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.

It has confiscated more land for the construction of a tunnel and a crossing, controlling Palestinian movement from Bethlehem city and the western countryside villages.

Israeli refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction in 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 much more easily gives over 700,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.

K.F.

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