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Israel demolishes Mosques in West Bank, one in south of Nablus

As peace talks deadline passes

Israel is conducting aggravated persecutions against Palestinians for daring to unite and form unity government.

KHIRBET AL-TAWEEL, West Bank

(Reuters) – Israeli forces demolished several structures, including a mosque, in a Palestinian village on Tuesday, the day a deadline for a deal in now-frozen peace talks expired.

A Reuters correspondent saw several hundred soldiers deployed in Khirbet al-Taweel, in the occupied West Bank, around daybreak.

They guarded 6 bulldozers that reduced to rubble buildings that were constructed without Israeli permits. Palestinians say such documents are nearly impossible to obtain.

Palestinians saw a link between the demolitions and the passing, without a peace deal, of the April 29 deadline set when the talks began in July. Israel has also drawn Palestinian anger by continuing to expand settlements on land they seek for a state.

Villagers said the stone mosque was built in 2008, and that soldiers removed prayer rugs and holy scriptures before tearing it down.

Bulldozers razed buildings included 3 one-storey family houses, animal shelters and a communal well. Locals said around 30 people were made homeless.

The Israeli army said in a statement that 8 structures, including a “mosque in use“, were demolished because they had been built illegally inside a dangerous live-fire military training zone.

“I went to make my dawn prayers at the mosque and found the army surrounding it,” said resident Abdel Fattah Maarouf, 63.

“Then they tore the mosque down. They want this area so they can build settlements in it.”

Speaking on local radio, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top Palestinian official and (former  leader of Palestinian Popular democratic faction), said that “unless acts like this cease completely” there was no room to return to U.S.-sponsored peace talks with “this expansionist, racist occupier“.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended negotiations last week after Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestine Liberation Organization signed a unity dealt with Hamas of Gaza.

The pact envisages the formation of a government of non-political technocrats within 5 weeks and a Palestinian election 6 months later. Israel said such a government would effectively be backed by Hamas and could not be a peace partner.

(Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Jeffrey Heller/Jeremy Gaunt)

A Palestinian man holds damaged loudspeakers belonging to a mosque after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Khirbet Al-Taweel village near the West Bank City of Nablus April 29, 2014. REUTERS-Mohamad Torokman
Palestinians walk past a structure after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Khirbet Al-Taweel village near the West Bank City of Nablus April 29, 2014. REUTERS-Mohamad Torokman
A Palestinian man inspects a structure after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Khirbet Al-Taweel village near the West Bank City of Nablus April 29, 2014. REUTERS-Mohamad Torokman

1 of 4. A Palestinian man holds damaged loudspeakers belonging to a mosque after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Khirbet Al-Taweel village near the West Bank City of Nablus April 29, 2014.


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May 2020
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