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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Israeli forces destroy stone-cutting facility in Qalqiliya

Published Monday 05/12/2011 (updated) 06/12/2011 15:52
An Israeli bulldozer carries out a house demolition near Qalqiliya.
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Monday demolished a manufacturing facility used to cut stone in Qalqiliya.

Witnesses told Ma'an that various military vehicles and bulldozers arrived at the village of Azzun and destroyed the structure, claiming that it was unlicensed.

Hussain Ghannam, the owner of the stone-cutting plant, said that the structure is located in Area C and has been there since 2008. The manufacturing facility was the source of income for eight families, he told Ma'an.

The Israeli civil administration had asked Ghannam to produce a title deed for the property and he was working with lawyers to have one issued.

The decision to destroy his property was completely unexpected, he said.

Area C covers 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000.

Israel retains military authority and full control over building and planning in Area C: as much as 70 percent of it is inaccessible to Palestinians, classified as Israeli settlement areas, firing zones, or nature reserves.

From 2000 to 2007, the Civil Administration approved just 5 percent of the applications for building permits submitted by Palestinians in Area C.

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