Israeli municipal authorities demolished a Palestinian kindergarten school in Beit Safafa, in the occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, August 17. Another demolition operation was also carried out near Mount Sabih in the West Bank, which according to local Palestinian sources, is a hotbed of illegal Israeli settlement activity.
Violence against Palestinians also continued unabated as Israeli security forces conducted multiple raids across the West Bank, arresting several Palestinians.
According to news reports, bulldozers escorted by Israeli army soldiers entered the al-Safah area of Beit Safafa. They started demolishing the school without explaining their action. The school, owned by Mohammad Jum’a, was situated adjacent to the Jum’a family home. It was recently constructed and was to start operations in the upcoming academic year.
Israeli forces also demolished a Palestinian-owned, partially constructed house in Yatma near Mount Sabih the same day. Ghassan Daghlas of the Palestinian Authority reported seeing Israeli forces accompanied by bulldozers entering the village. No reasons were given for demolishing the home as well.
Israeli authorities regularly demolish Palestinian-owned residential and commercial properties after deeming them illegal. The reason given is that the construction required a permit issued by the Israeli-administered municipalities. Palestinians say that it is next to impossible to obtain permits as their applications are mostly rejected, leaving them with no choice but to construct at the risk of being issued with demolition orders or abruptly demolished without notice or warning.
Israeli forces also conducted raids in multiple locations, including al-Bireh, Ras Karkar, and Aqbat Jabr refugee camp. They reportedly attacked the residents with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. In response to the violence, Palestinians clashed with the soldiers at various places resulting in several being detained.