Locals: Israel Demolishes Long-Standing West Bank Mosque

As Settlement Construction Continues, Palestinian Buildings Razed

The Israeli government is continuing to expand the construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank, but perhaps even more deleterious to the stalled peace process is that the Israeli army is continuing to demolish Palestinian buildings in the region including, apparently, a local mosque.

Locals in the village of Khirbet Yarza reported today that among the several buildings demolished by the Israeli military was a long-standing mosque, which they insisted had been located on the site since long before the 1967 occupation began.

Israel denied being aware that any of the buildings were a mosque, describing the buildings destroyed as “temporary” structures built without the permission of the Israeli military. They insisted the demolitions were aimed at saving the Palestinians from a possible fire.

Yet photos from the site of the mosque appear to show a structure of stone and cement, not the temporary animal pens that the Israeli military’s official reports described. The Palestinian Authority condemned the destruction of the buldings, saying they were part of concerted effort of “state destruction” by the Israeli government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.