Home Archive 27/May/2020 12:49 PM

Israel orders halt on construction of structures west of Bethlehem


BETHLEHEM, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli forces ordered a halt on the construction of some structures in al-Walaja village, west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, said a local source.

Coordinator of the local Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee Hassan Breija and the village mayor Khader al-‘Araj said that Israeli forces raided Ein Jowaize area in the village, where they handed a villager a military order to stop the construction of his retaining walls.

Soldier delivered military orders to stop the construction of several house basements and a water well.

They also handed several other villagers notices, ordering them to appear before intelligence for interrogation over the construction of their houses and warehouses.

Located at a horizontal distance of 5 kilometers to the west of Bethlehem, al-Walaja has a population of some 2,800 and occupies a total area of 4,328 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 ed control over a small pocket of land occupying 113 dunams and accounting for only 2.6 percent of the village’s total area. This area is classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.

An area of 4,209 dunams of the village, accounting for 97 percent, is completely isolated by the section of Israel’s apartheid wall. The majority of this land is agricultural land, forests and open spaces.

The village is flanked by two Israeli colonial settlements; Gilo from the east and Har Gilo from the south.

Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.

At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Israel 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 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.


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