Israeli troops demolished, early on Wednesday morning, a Palestinian-owned home in the central West Bank town of Betunia, west of Ramallah.

Local sources said that a large Israeli military force, including a bulldozer, invaded Betunia town, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

They added that the soldiers forced out the inhabitants of the home, owned by Abdul-Aziz al-Froukh, before their military bulldozer began knocking it down.

The Israeli army claims that the home was built without a permit from the “Civil Administration Office” a branch of its illegal military occupation of the West Bank.

The Israeli army recently delivered many demolition orders to Palestinian families in the area, under the pretext that it is a “no construction zone.”

Photo By WAFA News

The Israeli occupations’s policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians has been a longstanding practice, since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, in 1967.

In some demolition cases, Israeli military courts have ordered the demolition on the grounds of active resistance against the Israeli occupation, particularly those of whom have been charged with carrying out acts of resistance against the military or the illegal colonial settlements, built on Palestinian-owned lands, across the West Bank.

The Israeli practice of home demolition has been widely criticized by international human rights groups, as it is an illegal form of collective punishment.

In other cases, Israeli occupation authorities have demolished homes in order to expand existing illegal colonies or paving settler-only bypass roads.

Photo By WAFA News

Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, 3,759 dunams of the town’s land, accounting for 17.8 percent of the village’s total area, were classified as Area A, and 472 dunams, accounting for just 2 percent, were classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.

Since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, Israel started targeting Palestinian lands, by illegal confiscating them for military uses and for the construction and expansion of the illegal colonies in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Beitunia, like other parts of the West Bank, has been subject to repeated illegal confiscation of its lands for Israeli colonies, bypass roads, and military installations.

The Palestinian News & Info Agency WAFA has reported that Israel has constructed Beit Horon and Givat Zeev colonial settlements on an area of some 4,000 dunams of Palestinian land, including a portion confiscated from Betunia.

WAFA added that Israel has also confiscated  520 dunams (128.49 acres) for the establishment of Ofar military base and detention center, south of Betunia, in addition to paving the settler-only bypass roads #443 and #436.

Israel also constructed a section of the apartheid wall, which extends for 12.7 kilometers on the town’s land, isolating some 12,773 dunams of the town’s land for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements, and military installations.