HEBRON, May 25, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army Monday ordered the removal of part of the electricity network in the village of al-Kum, west of Hebron, according to local sources.
A local resident told WAFA that an Israeli army force stormed the village and handed a notification to local residents, informing them about the army’s intent to remove 800 meters long of the power network, which would leave several families near the separation wall, built illegally on Palestinian-owned land, without power.
The order came under the pretext of being built in area C, under full Israeli control.
Israel retains full control over Area C, where the Palestinian villagers are prohibited from building and land management unless they obtain permits from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration.
Having no other choice, many Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli control, are forced to build without permits to be able to provide a shelter for their families, risking having their buildings demolished in the process.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between December 30, 2014 and January 12, 2015, the Israeli authorities demolished 27 Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank and five in East Jerusalem, in addition to two self demolition incidents, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits.
OCHA said that, “Among the key drivers of humanitarian vulnerability in Area C are policies and practices applied by the Israeli authorities in the context of the ongoing occupation of the West Bank.”
It said that, “These include settlement activity; a discriminatory planning and zoning regime; and restrictions on Palestinian movement and access, including Barrier construction.”
“These measures combine to impede Palestinian access to livelihoods, shelter and basic services and assistance, including health, education and water and sanitation services. In many cases, they contribute to the forced displacement of Palestinians,” added OCHA.
It said that, “While the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) has heavily restricted Palestinian construction in Area C, it has established parallel practices for Israeli settlements. Though it has failed to sufficiently plan for Palestinian villages in Area C, it has approved detailed plans for almost all Israeli settlements located in the West Bank.”
“The situation for Palestinian communities in Area C stands in stark contrast to that of Israeli settlements, which have been built in violation of international law. These settlements enjoy preferential treatment, particularly in terms of West Bank land and water use and benefit from a range of government incentives.”
As a result, Israeli settlers generally have better access to resources and enjoy superior service infrastructure than do adjacent Palestinian communities. Combined, these factors have facilitated the significant growth of the settler population. This growth, along with patterns of displacement occurring in Area C, raise concerns over demographic shifts and changes to the ethnic make-up of the West Bank as a result of Israeli policy in Area C, said OCHA.
According to residents interviewed by OCHA, “one of the main factors forcing people to leave their communities is the inability to obtain permission for legal construction, both residential construction and that related to service provision, particularly to build schools and service infrastructure.”
“The division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C was agreed as a temporary measure, pending a final status agreement that was to be reached within five years. The absence of any meaningful changes to the interim arrangements since September 2000 has meant the continued application of a range of Israeli policies to the area, with negative humanitarian consequences for Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank.”
under international human rights law, Israel must ensure that persons under its jurisdiction AUGUST 2011 21 UN OCHA oPt enjoy fulfillment of their human rights, including the right to be free from discrimination, to effective legal remedies, as well as to an adequate standard of living, housing, health, education, and water.