Five Palestinian-owned shops, located on a major West Bank highway that Israel is attempting to take over for use by settlers only, were destroyed by Israeli forces Friday.The owner of the shops, Tahseen Mansour, said that he was not given any notice or a demolition order by the Israeli troops before his stores were taken by military force and destroyed.

The stores were located in the Palestinian town of Izbat At-Tabib, east of Qalqilia in the northern West Bank. The city of Qalqilia is completely surrounded by the Israeli Annexation Wall, and the road between Qalqilia and Nablus is dotted with Israeli settlements which are quickly expanding as Israel attempts to create more ‘facts on the ground’.

Hundreds of shops and homes in the northern West Bank have been demolished by Israeli forces over the last several years, many of which were supposedly ‘built without a permit’, despite the fact that Israel has refused to issue construction permits for Palestinians since its takeover and continued occupation of the West Bank that began in 1967.