Israeli gov’t seeks legal cover for demolition of Palestinian homes

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A government-sponsored bill is being currently discussed by a Knesset committee in an attempt to tighten grip on Palestinians building in the Green Line (1948 Occupied Palestine), Haaretz reported Monday.

The bill seeks to amend planning and construction laws in order to deter the Palestinians from building homes in the Green Line, an activity deemed illegal by the Israeli authorities if made without permits, which are hard to obtain.

The bill includes increasing the maximum imprisonment for unlicensed building from two years to three years, and reducing the authority of the court in favor of the Finance Ministry’s enforcement unit.

Those who violate the bill will also be subjected to demolition and displacement.

According to Haaretz, the measure targets Palestinian residents of the Green Line, who have often tried every possible effort to obtain construction licenses from the Israeli authorities. Most of their appeals have, however, gone unheeded.

Recently, the Israeli government refused a draft legislation proposed by two Arab MKs in the Knesset to suspend arbitrary demolition of unlicensed Palestinian homes for four years until a solution is found.

In January 2017, 11 Palestinian homes were knocked down by the Israeli forces in Qalansuwa town, to the north of the Green Line, and 15 other homes were demolished in Umm al-Hiran Bedouin village in southern Negev under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

According to experts, Palestinian residents of the Green Line are in urgent need of 130,000 homes to house homeless civilians, particularly newly-wed couples.

(Source / 31.01.2017)

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