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Israel MK: Palestinian homes in West Bank are 'construction terror'

Bulldozers demolish two buildings belonging to Palestinians in the West Bank on 29 January 2018 [Mamoun Wazwaz / Anadolu Agency]
Bulldozers demolish two buildings belonging to Palestinians in Jerusalem on 29 January 2018 [Mamoun Wazwaz / Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli parliamentarian has described Palestinian buildings in the occupied West Bank as "construction terror", according a report by Haaretz.

MK Moti Yogev, of coalition partner Jewish Home, made the remarks in his capacity as chair of a Knesset subcommittee, during a discussion on targeting Palestinian structures for demolition.

"Our goal is to protect state lands," Yogev said, "consistent with decisions by the state not letting their status be determined by construction terror guided by the Palestinian Authority with the intervention of international elements such as the European Union."

The meeting of the subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee heard testimonies from governmental and non-governmental officials concerned with the issue.

According to Haaretz, "much of the discussion was devoted again to Bedouin communities in Khan Al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem near Ma'aleh Adumim [settlement]".

Read: Settlement rabbi urged construction on privately-owned Palestinian land

Kobi Eliraz, an assistant to Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, acknowledged that Lieberman has been personally involved in plans to expel the Palestinians of Khan Al-Ahmar.

"Obviously, we have a problem," Eliraz said. "Regarding the Khan Al-Ahmar area, we thought that it was strategically correct not to let this group become a Bedouin town, which is why we decided to give this issue top priority," he added.

The head of the Civil Administration's enforcement unit, Marco Ben-Shabat, which oversees demolitions, told the Knesset subcommittee that "as a result of increased enforcement the number of internationally-funded projects in Area C had dropped by more than half."

In the so-called "Area C" of the occupied West Bank, some 60 per cent of the region, Israeli occupation authorities are responsible for issuing construction permits to Palestinian civilians, permits which are almost impossible to obtain.

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