Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron
Israeli machinery demolishes a Palestinian house near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron
Photo: AFP
Israeli machinery demolishes a Palestinian house near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron

IDF destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley

Israeli bulldozers demolish 80 homes in the West Bank village of Tubas; army says the houses were built illegally in a training area, while anti-occupation NGO blames Israel of making use of the fact the world's attention is turned to the U.S. election and coronavirus

AFP |
Published: 11.04.20 , 23:07
The IDF has demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank, officials and witnesses said Wednesday, in a rare operation targeting an entire community at once.
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  • Late Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers razed the village -- including tents, sheds, portable toilets and solar panels -- near Tubas in the Jordan Valley, according to an AFP photographer at the scene, who found dozens of people left homeless.
    Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron
    Israeli machinery demolishes a Palestinian house near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron
    (Photo: AFP)
    Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh accused Israeli troops of having "completely demolished the village of Homsa al-Baqia, leaving around 80 people homeless".
    The branch of IDF responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, COGAT, said it had destroyed structures "built illegally in a firing zone (military training area) in the Jordan Valley".
    The Jordan Valley falls in the West Bank's Area C that is fully controlled by Israel, which has controlled the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.
    Under Israeli rules, Palestinians cannot build structures in the area without permits, which are typically refused, and demolitions are common.
    Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the occupied West Bank Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the occupied West Bank
    Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the West Bank
    (Photo: AFP)
    According to Abdelghani Awada, left homeless by the operation, the Israelis who arrived in vehicles and with bulldozers gave people "10 minutes to evacuate our homes".
    "Then they started bulldozing," he told AFP.
    He stressed that his family had lived in the area for generations and accused Israel of trying to "empty the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian population".
    The late-night operation in Homsa al-Baqia was unusual given that so many homes were targeted at the same time, according to the Israeli anti-occupation non-government organization B'Tselem.
    Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the occupied West Bank Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the occupied West Bank
    Palestinian Bedouins with their scattered belongings after Israeli soldiers demolished their tents in an area east of the village of Tubas in the West Bank
    (Photo: AFP)
    "The wiping off of a whole community at once is extremely rare, and it seems like Israel was making use of the fact that everyone's attention is currently set elsewhere to move forward with this inhumane act," B'Tselem said in a statement sent to AFP, referring to the U.S. presidential election.
    In a separate statement B'Tselem said that "while the world deals with the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted time and effort to harassing Palestinians instead of helping... residents living under its control".
    B'Tselem, which tracks demolition data, said that 798 Palestinians in the West Bank have been left homeless by Israeli demolitions so far this year.
    That is already the highest annual tally since 2016, the year the organization began collecting such data.

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