Photo Credit: Courtesy of Regavim
The illegal vacation village construction site in al-Sawiyeh, circa 2017.

WAFA, the PA’s official news agency, on Wednesday reported that the IDF handed demolition orders for 25 homes belonging to residents of the village of al-Sawiyeh, about 10 miles south of Shechem. According to WAFA, The “pretext” for the demolition is the fact that the homes were built in Area C without an Israeli permit.

Under the Oslo agreements, Judea and Samaria were divided into three parts: Area A which is wholly owned and operated by the Palestinian Authority; Area B where civilian matters are run by the PA and security by Israel; and Area C which is completely in Israel’s domain.

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Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in northern Samaria, told WAFA that IDF soldiers entered the village and handed 25 residents the demolition orders. According to al-Sawiyeh village council head Murad Abu Ras, some of the homes slated for demolition are inhabited, others are still under construction.

According to Abu Ras, only 5% of the village is in Area B and the rest in Area C.

The al-Sawiyeh villagers have been in constant conflict for decades with their Jewish neighbors in the settlement of Eli.

Omar Abu Laila, the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger and IDF soldier Gal Kaydan in 2019, came from al-Sawiyeh. His home was demolished but quickly rebuilt by his family.

In 2017, the Regavim movement petitioned the High Court of Justice regarding an illegally built vacation village that was erected by the residents of al-Sawiyeh that included five bungalows and two swimming pools.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.