Israel troops begun demolishing homes in Palestinian village of Sur Baher
Hundreds of Israeli troops, accompanied by bulldozers, have begun demolishing homes in the Palestinian village of Sur Baher near the separation wall, despite Palestinian protests and international criticism.
Residents of the village’s Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood told local media on Monday that 16 residential buildings, which hold around 100 apartments, were being targeted.
The Israeli military considers the homes, which are close to the barrier that criss-crosses the occupied West Bank and is locally referred to by Palestinians as the “apartheid wall”, a security risk.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favour of the military last month and set Monday as the deadline to demolish the homes – an act Palestinians say will set a precedent for other towns along the route of the barrier, which runs for hundreds of kilometres around and through the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians accused Israel of using security as a pretext to force them out of the area as part of long-term efforts to expand settlements. All settlements on occupied Palestinian lands are illegal under international law.
They also point out that most of the buildings in Wadi al-Hummus area, located inside Sur Baher, are meant to be under the Palestinian Authority and civilian control under the 1993 Oslo accords.
The sprawling village of Sur Baher straddles the line between the occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied the West Bank. It was captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.