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Israel demolishes mosque in occupied West Bank

Israeli forces demolish Palestinian buildings in Hebron, West Bank on 25 November 2020 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces demolish Palestinian buildings in Hebron, West Bank on 25 November 2020 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces have demolished a mosque under construction in Umm Qusah to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu has reported. The mosque was torn down along with several other structures earlier today.

According to Muhammad Yatimin, the director of a local school near the mosque, the Israeli authorities cited the lack of necessary building licences as the reason for the demolition. "A freshwater well used by a school was also destroyed," he pointed out.

Palestinians are rarely granted building permits by the Israeli occupation authorities, especially in occupied East Jerusalem. The Israelis charge Palestinians an extortionate amount, which is unaffordable for most people. The system creates a loophole for Israel to annex more land and leave Palestinians in limbo by preventing them from developing their infrastructure.

The Israelis also bulldozed a livestock structure in Khamis Al-Jahalin along with two similar facilities in Bir Al-Maskoub in occupied East Jerusalem. Under international law, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are occupied territories and all Jewish settlements are illegal.

All of the structures demolished today were located in an area of the occupied West Bank classified as Area C, which is subject to full Israeli control under the 1995 Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba, Egypt.

Israel's ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes and illegal settlement construction, which have both accelerated following the UAE's decision to normalise relations with the occupying state, have become a major source of concern.

READ: Caught between covid and settlers: How a West Bank school is struggling to survive

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