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Violating Palestinian Rights

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Violating Palestinian Rights - by Stephen Lendman

Besides its Knesset, security forces and intelligence services, Israel's High Court and Civil Administration ravage Palestinian civil society repressively. Two examples illustrate the problem.

On June 22, a B'Tselem press release headlined, "Sharp increase in West Bank home demolitions," saying:

Through late June, Israel's Civil Administration, its Judea/Samaria (West Bank) governing body, illegally "demolished more Palestinians homes....than in all of last year." Most often, soldiers and Border Police accompany them, forcefully evicting longtime residents.

Over the most recent seven day period, 33 residential buildings were demolished in Jordan Valley Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza communities, as well as southern Hebron Hills Khirbet Bir al-'Id. As a result, 238 Palestinians, including 129 minors, lost homes.

Since January 2011, 103 Israeli controlled Area C (62% of the West Bank) structures were demolished, affecting 706 Palestinians, including 341 minors. This represents a sharp increase over 2010 and 2009 when 86 and 28 were bulldozed respectively.

At the same time, Civil Administration officials made few plans to help Palestinian communities. Instead, they prevent new construction and development beyond what now exists, "making it impossible for Palestinians to build legally in these areas."

Israel contrives ways to enforce policies. For example, some homes are demolished in areas the IDF declares "firing zones," including half of Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea land, even places located along main traffic arteries or next to or comprising settlements. As a result, even though Palestinian dwellings date back generations, they're prohibited from living there henceforth.

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Discriminatory planning and building laws affect communities like Khirbet Bir al-Id, adjacent to the 1998-built Mizpe Ya'ir outpost. Though illegal, Israel approved connecting it to water, electricity, other public services, and basic infrastructure, funding it, including an access road. Moreover, it did nothing to prohibit its establishment, compared to Civil Administration harshness, demolishing Palestinian structures on their own land without permit permission.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) helps rebuild homes. It also resists "land expropriation, settlement expansions, by-pass road construction, policies of 'closure' and 'separation,' " destruction of agricultural land and crops, and the occupation's repressive effects overall, beyond its original mission to oppose and resist Palestinian house demolitions.

From June 1967 - July 28, 2010, ICAHD said Israel destroyed nearly 25,000 Palestinian structures, based on Interior Ministry, Civil Administration, OCHA, other UN sources, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights data, as well as Israeli and other Palestinian human rights groups, Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), its own field work, and other sources.

It classifies demolition types as:

-- punishment for actions associated with the structures (about 8.5%);

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-- administrative for lacking building permits (about 26%);

-- land-clearing/military demolitions for any reason, including achieving IDF goals or accompanying extrajudicial assassinations (about 65.5%); and

-- other undefined reasons.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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