Israeli forces, on Monday, demolished four Palestinian homes belonging to the al-Hazaleen family in the Hebron village of Yatta, in the occupied West Bank.Ibrahim Hazaleen, who monitors settlement activity in the area said, according to Al Ray, that a large group of Israeli soldiers and a bulldozer stormed the village, demolishing four houses in the Yatta village which belonged to Eid Hazaleen and his sons and relatives.
Mr. Hazaleen noted that the demolition process comes one day after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by residents, and confirmed that around 30 people are now homeless as a result.
Israel only rarely ever grants Palestinians permits to build in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Some 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures have been destroyed since Israel first occupied the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
The move was never recognized by the international community, but Israeli land seizures and other violations have continued unabated, ever since.
Furthermore, Israeli PM Netanyahu is to sign a deal with right-wing political party Habayit Hayehudi, to unfreeze West Bank settlement construction, Channel 2 revealed Sunday.
Netanyahu will hold a meeting with the party on Wednesday to discuss infrastructure development in West Bank settlements.
The Channel 2 report explained that the step comes as an attempt to relieve political pressure exerted on Netanyahu.
Habayit Hayehudi leaders, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel threatened the PM with undermining the Israeli government coalition, unless Israel lifts the quiet freeze on building and planning processes in the settlements.
Netanyahu and the ministers will discuss the possibility of approving the paving of 12 new roads in the West Bank, water infrastructure in the settlements, building Israeli student villages, parks, and a promenade in Gush Etzion.
Also on the agenda is the renovation of the ‘Cave of the Patriarchs’ Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, new electricity infrastructure, settler demands to regularize illegal outposts, and the laying of groundwork in the settlements for future construction.
The Council of Jewish Communities in the occupied West Bank attempted to negotiate the construction of 2,000 homes, mostly in the settlement blocs, with the Prime Minister’s Office, but Netanyahu reportedly hasn’t accepted the demand.
Haaretz reported that, in their meeting with Netanyahu, last week, Bennett and Ariel demanded the PM resume construction immediately, and that he restart meetings of the Civil Administration’s planning committees, warning that if he doesn’t accede, the party’s MKs may absent themselves from a no-confidence vote scheduled for Monday.
Furthermore, even if such a move doesn’t lead to a collapse of government, it would signal serious instability in the coalition.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid said he vehemently opposes large-scale construction in the settlements and the regularization of illegal outposts.
Carrying out the plan, at this point in time, would lead to a serious crisis in Israeli-American relations and harm Israel’s international standing, Lapid said.
In response to the Channel 2 report, the Labor Party issued a statement saying that Netanyahu is ‘selling all of Israel’s diplomatic interests for a few more months on the prime minister’s seat,’ and calling on both Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Lapid to resign from the coalition.