Israeli authorities have forced a Palestinian family to demolish their home built inside a cave in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, the first building in its kind to receive a demolition notice from Israel.
Inside a cave in the village of Farasin, 30-year-old Ahmed Amarneh, the father of the family and a civil engineer, built his home a year and a half ago, with a wooden door opening onto cushion-lined rooms.
He received the notice under the pretext that his home ‘lacks the necessary construction license,’ which is almost impossible to obtain.
“I tried twice to build (a house), but the occupation authorities told me it was forbidden to build in the area,” he told AFP.
He said when he was convinced the he might never obtain the ‘license,’ he decided to build his home inside a cave in the foothills overlooking Farasin, thinking that the Israeli regime could not possibly argue that the cave, as an ancient and natural formation, was illegally built.
However, he said he received the notice in July, along with 20 other Palestinian families in the village, situated west of Jenin.
“I didn't make the cave. It has existed since antiquity,” he said.
According to the Israeli anti-settlement campaign group B'Tselem, the regime in June demolished 63 Palestinian structures in the West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.