Israel Demolishes West Bank Mosque

Israeli troops have demolished a mosque and more than 10 other structures in two areas in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources have said.

Most of the demolition activity took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza in the northern Jordan Valley on Thursday where local residents said troops had razed a very old mosque and its much-larger extension, which was built last year.

They also said troops had leveled "more than 10 buildings used for sheep".

The Israeli military confirmed knocking down what it described as "eight temporary structures" which had been built inside a ‘military firing zone’.

"During the morning, the security forces and the civil administration destroyed eight temporary structures and the frame of another structure, which were built without the required permits inside a firing zone endangering the lives of the residents," according to a statement from COGAT, the defense ministry unit which acts as a link between the army and the Palestinians.

In a statement, the Palestinian government said that their efforts to build a state are met with "state destruction by Israel".

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.

At the opposite end of the West Bank, Israeli troops destroyed a building which was home to 18 people in the southern town of Yatta, the family and municipal officials told the AFP news agency.

Figures from Bimkom, an Israeli NGO, show that around 95 per cent of applications for a building permit are rejected, with the civil administration only granting around 12 permits a year.

According to UN figures, Israel destroyed 180 Palestinian structures in Area C in 2009, including 56 residential buildings.
 
(Aljazeera.net English and Agencies)

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