Palestinian men pray in November 2010 amid the rubble of a mosque in Khirbet Yarza destroyed by the Israeli army
Palestinian men pray amidst the rubble of a mosque destroyed by the Israeli army in the remote Bedouin village of Khirbet Yarza in the Jordan valley, November 25, 2010. Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished the mosque for the third time, Palestinian security forces said. © Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP/File
Palestinian men pray in November 2010 amid the rubble of a mosque in Khirbet Yarza destroyed by the Israeli army
AFP
Last updated: October 11, 2011

Israel razes Jordan Valley mosque' for third time

Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished for the third time a mosque in a remote Bedouin village in the Jordan valley, Palestinian security forces said.

The demolition took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza, some five kilometres (three miles) east of Tubas in the northeastern corner of the West Bank.

The mosque has been demolished twice before, once in February and before that in November 2010, when troops razed the mosque, its much larger extension and various stables.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Israeli military said it had destroyed the structure "because it was built without permission in an area that is used for army training."

"We decided to immediately destroy this structure so as not to put in danger the lives of residents of the region," the statement said.

Khirbet Yarza is in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control and where all construction and planning issues come under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Civil Administration.

Area C comprises around 60 percent of the West Bank.

Figures from the Israeli NGO Bimkom show that around 95 percent of Palestinian applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration granting only around 12 permits a year.

United Nations figures show that in 2009, Israel destroyed 180 Palestinian structures in Area C, including 56 residential buildings.

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