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West Bank

Coveney says Israel's destruction of Palestinian village a 'brutal and violent act'

Israel’s army demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney has said Israel’s demolition of 80 Palestinian homes on Tuesday was a “brutal and violent act”. 

Israel’s army demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Israeli bulldozers razed the village — including tents, sheds, portable toilets and solar panels — near Tubas in the Jordan Valley.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh accused Israeli troops of having “completely demolished the village of Homsa al-Baqia, leaving around 80 people homeless”.

The branch of Israel’s army responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, COGAT, said it had destroyed structures “built illegally in a firing zone (military training area) in the Jordan Valley”.

The Jordan Valley falls in the West Bank’s Area C that is fully controlled by Israel’s army, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

Under Israeli rules, Palestinians cannot build structures in the area without permits, which are typically refused, and demolitions are common.

In a statement today, Coveney said: “Destruction of private property such as this is clearly prohibited under international humanitarian law.

“The eviction of families and demolition of their homes is a brutal and violent act. These most vulnerable of people should be protected by the occupation authorities, not subject to further injustice,” he said. 

israel-palestinians Palestinian children play on top of the demolished house of Khalil Dweikat, in the West Bank village of Rojeeb. Nasser Nasser Nasser Nasser

Ireland’s Representative Office in Ramallah visited the site of the demolitions today, the Minister added, along with other diplomatic representatives.

“Ireland, the EU, and the wider humanitarian community are ready to support those impacted. However, I reiterate my call on Israel to cease this practice and live up to its responsibility to protect local communities,” Coveney said. 

This week’s destruction of the Humsa Al Bqai’a community is a further acceleration of confiscations and demolitions this year, despite previous commitments from Israeli authorities not to target Palestinian residential structures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is deeply disappointing that Israel continues to carry out these reprehensible acts which are a grave breach of international humanitarian law,” said Coveney. 

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