Agence France Press (AFP)
The National
October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces have demolished for the third time a mosque in a remote Bedouin village in the Jordan valley, Palestinian security forces said.

The demolition took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza, some five kilometres east of Tubas in the northeastern corner of the West Bank.

The mosque has been demolished twice before, once in February and in November 2010, when troops razed the mosque, its much larger extension, and various animal stables.

The military could not immediately confirm the latest demolition but in the past has said it razed the mosque because it was built without required permits and located inside a firing zone.

Khirbet Yarza is located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control and where all construction and planning issues come under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Civil Administration. Area C makes up around 60 per cent of the West Bank.

Figures from the Israeli organisation Bimkom, made up of planners and architects involved in human rights issues, show that around 95 per cent of Palestinian applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration only granting around 12 permits a year.

United Nations figures show that in 2009, Israel destroyed 180 Palestinian structures in Area C, including 56 residential buildings.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017