Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley

Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley
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Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron, on November 2, 2020. (AFP)
Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley
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Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) in a village south of Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron, on November 2, 2020. (AFP)
Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley
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A Palestinian boy watcheas as Israeli machinery demolish a house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near the Palestinian village of Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron, on November 2, 2020. (AFP)
Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley
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Israeli machinery demolish a Palestinian house located within the area C (where Israel retains control, including over planning and construction) near Yatta in the southern area of the West Bank town of Hebron, on November 2, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 04 November 2020

Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley

Israeli army destroys Palestinian village in Jordan Valley
  • Late Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers razed the village — including tents, sheds, portable toilets and solar panels — near Tubas in the Jordan Valley
  • According to a man left homeless by the operation, the Israelis gave people 10 minutes to evacuate their homes

TUBAS, Palestinian Territories: Israel’s army has demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the occupied West Bank, officials and witnesses said Wednesday, in a rare operation targeting an entire community at once.
Late Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers razed the village — including tents, sheds, portable toilets and solar panels — near Tubas in the Jordan Valley, according to an AFP photographer at the scene, who found dozens of people left homeless.
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.
According to Abdelghani Awada, left homeless by the operation, the Israelis who arrived in vehicles and with bulldozers gave people “10 minutes to evacuate our homes.”
“Then they started bulldozing,” he told AFP.
He stressed that his family had lived in the area for generations and accused Israel of trying to “empty the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian population.”
The late-night operation in Homsa Al-Baqia was unusual given that so many homes were targeted at the same time, according to the Israeli anti-occupation non-government organization B’Tselem.
“The wiping off of a whole community at once is extremely rare, and it seems like Israel was making use of the fact that everyone’s attention is currently set elsewhere to move forward with this inhumane act,” B’Tselem said in a statement sent to AFP, referring to the US presidential election.
In a separate statement B’Tselem said that “while the world deals with the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted time and effort to harassing Palestinians instead of helping... residents living under its control.”
B’Tselem, which tracks demolition data, said that 798 Palestinians in the West Bank have been left homeless by Israeli demolitions so far this year.
That is already the highest annual tally since 2016, the year the organization began collecting such data.


Egyptians abducted by Libyan gang freed

Egyptians abducted by Libyan gang freed
Updated 50 sec ago

Egyptians abducted by Libyan gang freed

Egyptians abducted by Libyan gang freed
  • Security forces in Tobruk also arrested seven people who were involved in the killing of three Egyptian citizens

CAIRO: A Libyan security source has said that several Egyptians who were recently kidnapped in Libya have been freed by the Tobruk Security Directorate.

According to statements by local Egyptian newspapers, criminal gangs had kidnapped the Egyptian victims after they illegally entered the country.

The source said that 32 Egyptian citizens were captured by a criminal gang that kidnaps and extorts foreigners.

Libyan security forces arrested a number of criminals involved in the kidnappings, the source said, adding that more will likely be arrested following further investigation.

Security forces in Tobruk also arrested seven people who were involved in the killing of three Egyptian citizens, whose bodies were discovered with signs of torture.

The Libyan source confirmed that orders were issued by the Interior Minister of the Eastern Government Ibrahim Boushnaf to apprehend criminals and free kidnapped and detained people in order to establish security and stability in the east of the country.

Families of a group of young men from Beni Suef Egyptian Governorate said that 10 men had been kidnapped within Libya.

One family member said that his son-in-law had traveled to Libya in a microbus, adding that the vehicle was captured and everyone on board detained.

Kidnappers demanded 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($6,356) for each of the young men to be released. The son-in-law was married about a month ago and took off 20 days after.

Families of the victims said the bus driver told them that the kidnappers had contacted him and demanded the families be informed of the ransom demands.

Egyptian authorities intervened in June 2020 to free 23 kidnapped Egyptians who were tortured by the Al-Wefaq militia.

They freed the prisoners and sent them back to Egypt, just hours after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ordered state agencies to find and return them.