Israel to Tear Down Palestinian Homes near West Bank Barrier, Palestinian Authorities Call it a 'Grave Aggression'
A number of Palestinian homes near the West Bank are being demolished, Israeli authorities said.
The homes were illegally built too close to the separation barrier in the West Bank, according to the BBC.
Residents in the homes say the Palestinian Authority issued permits to build the homes, but are now being forced out by Israel.
PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Palestine is planning to issue a complaint to the International Criminal Court about what he called “grave aggression.”
"This is a continuation of the forced displacement of the people of Jerusalem from their homes and lands - a war crime and a crime against humanity," he said.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, however, said the Supreme Court in Israel had previously ruled that the construction was illegal and posed a “severe security threat.”
"The court also ruled unequivocally that those who built houses in the area of the security fence, knew that building in that area was prohibited, and took the law into their own hands," he said.
The Supreme Court in Israel said in June that the buildings near the West Bank barrier “limit (military) operational freedom near the barrier and increase tensions with the local population.”
On Monday, about 700 Israeli police officers and 200 soldiers arrived to tear down 10 buildings. Nine Palestinians are now refugees, including five children, the United Nations said.
One resident, Ismail Abadiyeh, told AFP news agency his family would be left "on the street.”
Reports estimate that another 350 people who owned homes or buildings in the area that were unoccupied or under construction also lost those structures.
"I had a permit to build from the Palestinian Authority. I thought I was doing the right thing," Fadi al-Wahash, who was building a house in the area, told Reuters news agency.
Israel captured the West bank in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed East Jerusalem. International law says that the area is occupied territory, but Israel disagrees with the law.
Photo courtesy: Cole Keister/Israeli Flag/Unsplash