(Photo credit: RT Arabic)
Israeli media reported on 9 March that the demolition of Palestinian homes and buildings allegedly built without a permit will be halted during the coming month of Ramadan in order to prevent the escalation of a volatile “security situation.”
Israel’s Police Commissioner, Kobi Shabtai, reportedly ordered the occupation forces to refrain from carrying out evictions, and to stop orders to demolish homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the Negev.
An Israeli police source said that “the decision was issued to prevent the outbreak of local confrontations that may cause a wave of escalation.”
The source added that Israel had agreed internally to halt demolitions during Ramadan in previous years, but with certain exceptions, noting that this time the decision would be fully implemented.
Last month, Israel also decided against placing crowd control barriers facing the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City during Ramadan, as heavy clashes had erupted between Palestinians and the occupation forces during the holiday last year.
On the same day that Israel announced the decision to stop demolitions during Ramadan, Israeli troops tore down a Palestinian-owned building that was under construction northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, in the Shufat refugee camp.
Meanwhile, on 7 March, the occupation forces detonated the homes of two Palestinian families in the village of Silat al-Harithiya in the northern West Bank.
Ghaith Jaradat and Muhammad Jaradat, the occupants of these homes, had been accused of belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) resistance faction, and of allegedly participating in the killing of an Israeli settler.
Last year, illegal seizures and demolitions of Palestinian properties by Israeli forces increased by 32 percent, resulting in the displacement of 650 local residents.
Israel claims its ongoing demolition of Palestinian property is due to structures being built without a permit. However, Tel Aviv has made it almost impossible for Palestinians to acquire building permits.
According to Israeli media, Israel rejects over 98 percent of Palestinian building permit requests in the West Bank.