|credit: International Solidarity Movement|
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
It is just now breaking that Israeli forces have razed four homes of Palestinians along with 52 electricity pylons near the town of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian witnesses and a correspondent for AFP.
These activities are hardly surprising given that the state of Israel recently spat in the face of the international community by refusing to cooperate with a probe conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council and banning them from entering to investigate illegal settlements.
Furthermore, in the past Israel has simply moved to retroactively claim that illegal settlements were somehow legal, even though the private Palestinian lands were “looted from their owners.”
“At 4:00 am (0100 GMT) army tractors demolished four homes and 52 electricity pylons in the al-Makhrureh area of Beit Jalla,” Mazen al-Azzeh, coordinator of the Popular Campaign to Fight Settlements in Bethlehem, said to AFP.
Al-Azzeh said that they were doing this to connect two illegal Israeli settlements which are currently 10 kilometers, or six miles, apart from each other.
“They want to confiscate the land for settler purposes, to connect the settlement of Kfar Etzion and Har Gilo,” he said.
The AFP correspondent reported that this demolition left the residents in the area without any electricity, which could have many negative impacts on the quality of life of these besieged peoples.
“This is a mostly a Christian area,” al-Azzeh stated, adding, “As the world celebrates Easter, this is the Israeli government’s gift to the Palestinian Christian community.”
This tragic incident also comes as Israel has announced even more illegal settlements in Jerusalem (East al-Quds).
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that of now they have vowed to build almost 200 new homes in a new neighborhood called Kidmat Zion, built on land purchased by Irving Moskowitz, an American millionaire.
A spokesman for the civil administration, which is the military unit responsible for building issues in what is known as “Area C” claimed that he knew nothing of the demolitions.
Area C is the segment of the West Bank, spanning around 60 percent of the whole of the West Bank, which is under the control of the Israeli military and civilians.
Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in Area C and the annexed Arab east Jerusalem is a tragically common practice.
The usual go-to claim is that the buildings were built without the required permits, although this hardly justifies the complete demolition of homes of people who already live in a state of constant attack.
Palestinians say that it is nearly impossible for them to obtain the required permits and permission to build in these areas.
Many human rights groups and prominent international institutions, including the United Nations, have condemned these actions and called on Israel to end the demolition of Palestinian homes, citing the “extensive human suffering” that they cause.
It will be interesting to see if the United Nations does anything as these crimes continue and they are rebuffed by Israel in their attempts to investigate the settlement activity.
Of course, the United States will likely do absolutely nothing. Perhaps if the publicity is bad enough, they will issue a meaningless statement, but I can’t imagine them doing anything more based on historical precedent.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.
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