Mass house Demolitions Threaten Al-Sawiya
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Mass house Demolitions Threaten Al-Sawiya

The Occupation’s perpetual destruction of Palestinian land and communities has rendered life unbearable in miserable Bantustans. The brutality continued this week as the village of al-Sawiya in Salfit area was the target of around 40 house demolitions.

Approximately 40 families have been threatened in Al-Sawiya with house demolitions. Claiming that the properties on Palestinian land lack “building permits”, the Occupation has resorted to a long-standing Zionist strategy of expelling Palestinians from their lands.

One of the stipulations of the Oslo Accords – a process which institutionalized the colonization of West Bank land – is the fact that building in the “C” areas (around 60% of the West Bank land) was allowed only after Occupation approval. Most of al-Sawiya`s lands, including the built-up areas falls under the so-called C area. Occupation policy here – and historically – has been denial of any Palestinian expansion. In al-Sawiya, the residential area has not been granted the right to develop since 1967. The Occupation has tried to confine the 2500 inhabitants of al-Sawiya into 295 dunums of the village land.

As the population increased, the lack of building, infrastructure and service growth had a severely detrimental affect upon the lives of people living in the village. While the Occupation confiscated 2000 out of 9500 dunums of the village’s land for the construction of Rahleem and Mvdaleem settlements and their roads, Palestinians remained stifled and shut-in.

As the people refused to accept the Occupation impositions over their land, villagers have continued construction in order to meet their basic needs. The 40 families and many other villagers have built these houses several years ago. Last week, as part of the Apartheid Wall project and the overall Zionist policy of expulsion and ghettoization, Palestinians were told about the demolition orders for these houses. The result is over 200 people imminently threatened with the destruction of their property. Under the pretext of “permits” the Occupation carried on its systematic destruction of Palestinian property that has claimed over 12,000 homes since 1967.