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Israel destroys Twelve Structures in Walaja

Israeli Military destroys Twelve Structures in Walaja

The Israeli military destroyed five homes and seven chicken coops and barns today in the village of Walaja on the border of Bethlehem and Jerusalem districts. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli military and bulldozers entered the village at 7:00 AM today and began bulldozing the structures. Israeli authorities claimed that the buildings were destroyed today because they were unlicensed or substandard. It was unclear if Israeli authorities had given demolition orders to the owners of the buildings in advance of the demolition.

ISM volunteers, media and other activists from human rights organizations were denied entry to Walaja by the Israeli military until today's demolitions were completed.

Residents of Walaja, a village of approximately 2000 people, were unsure of the reasons for today's demolitions. However, Walaja is located on the expected path of Israel's West Bank Apartheid Wall, though the Wall's exact route in the area is unknown. According to staff from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), the demolition orders employed today were signed by Amitai Levi, an Israeli police official responsible for affairs relating to the Wall. This lends credibility to the probability that today's demolitions were carried out in anticipation of the construction of the Wall in Walaja.

The Israeli military did not demolish one additional home in Walaja when residents were able to produce a court order at the last minute. It is unclear if Israeli authorities plan to demolish additional homes in Walaja. The Israeli government has demolished over 4,000 Palestinian homes over the last four years according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

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