The Israeli occupation authorities yesterday issued stop work orders for the homes being built by a group of Palestinians in the Artas villages in southern Bethlehem district, Wafa has reported.
According to the director of the Bethlehem office of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission, Hassan Breijeh, armed officers handed six families notices ordering them to halt construction work on their houses, which are still in the initial building stage.
Bethlehem neighbourhoods have been subject to increasing Israeli theft of land in favour of expanding illegal Israeli settlements. The Ministry of Defence said earlier this month that it would approve the construction of some 4,000 settlement units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, the authorities also approved the demolition of Palestinian homes in 12 villages in Masafer Yatta.
Professor Michael Lynk, the former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, has said that Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip amounts to apartheid.
“With the eyes of the international community-wide open, Israel has imposed upon Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world,” Lynk said in a report published in March. “In the Palestinian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967, there are now five million stateless Palestinians living without rights, in an acute state of subjugation, and with no path to self-determination or a viable independent state which the international community has repeatedly promised is their right. The differences in living conditions and citizenship rights and benefits are stark, deeply discriminatory and maintained through systematic and institutionalized oppression.”
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