Israeli Military Calls for Demolition of West Bank Village

Israeli daily Ha’aretz is reporting that the Israeli military has called for the demolition of a Palestinian village under the pretext that it is built on an archaeological site.The village in question is Zanuta located in the South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank, situated close to the construction route of the annexation wall. The village falls under the designation of Area C, meaning that the Israeli military has full control of both administrative and security affairs under the guise of the so-called Civil Administration.

Ha’aretz states that the area was designated an archaeological area under the British Mandate, the period following the fall of the Ottoman empire till 1948 when several parts of the Middle East, including Palestine, where subject to occupation by the United Kingdom.

The military is claiming that the homes in the village, which comprise numerous improvised structures, were built without permission and that no master plan for the village is registered with the Civil Administration thus making all construction illegal.

Furthermore, the military has stated that it is not possible to grant retro-active permission and legalisation to the area despite many Israeli settlements and outposts receiving such leniency under the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank that is ongoing following the 6 Day War of 1967.

The South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank has had numerous villages targeted for demolition under the pretext that the villages are illegal under Israeli law, while the aforementioned settlements are given legal status despite the construction of outposts without preapproval from the State of Israel is illegal under Israeli law and all settlement construction on occupied land is illegal under international law.

In addition to discriminatory practices by the State of Israel and its military, Palestinians living in the area come under frequent attack from settler residing in the area, who fall under the categorization of ‘ideological’, i.e. those Israelis who move to the West Bank as they believe that all of the occupied Palestinian territories should be annexed by Israel as part of a ‘greater Israel’, rather than those who reside in the West Bank due to subsidized housing provided by the Israeli government.

Alongside attacks to their persons and property such as their homes and vehicles, Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills whose sole income is dependent on shepherding live stock, regularly find their animals are stolen or killed during night time attacks.

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