BETHLEHEM, Friday, May 15, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today ordered a halt on the construction of eight houses and agricultural structures in Nahalin town, west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Subhi Zeidan, a local municipal official, confirmed that Israeli forces ordered a stop on the construction of the houses and structures, including a house under construction, purportedly for being built with licenses.
He pointed out that just three days stop-construction orders were served to eight houses, at least three of which are inhabited, in the town, under the same pretext, a move that he slammed as a “fierce attack” against Palestinian construction to make room for the expansion of the nearby Israeli colonial settlement bloc of Gush Etzion.
He elaborated that the orders were served after the settlement group Regavim posted a video purportedly claiming that Palestinian urban expansion in the area hinders Israel’s annexation move.
Regavim promotes Israeli Jewish settlers’ “right” to colonize Palestine, mirroring the techniques and strategies of liberal human rights NGOs.
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.