- uploaded: Sep 28, 2013
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Human Rights Watch has condemned Israel's forced transfer of Bedouin families in the occupied West Bank, describing it as a "prosecutable war crime." "The Israeli military should end its unjustified attempts to forcibly remove a decades-old community," the rights organization's Middle East director, Joe Stork, said in a statement on Thursday. On September 16, Israeli forces destroyed properties built by the Palestinian Bedouin in the village of Khirbet al-Makhul, in the Jordan Valley. According to UN sources, the move forced out 10 Bedouin families, including 16 children. On September 20, the Israeli forces manhandled a group of European diplomats trying to hand out tents to the families whose homes had been demolished. Diplomats from France, Britain, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden were accompanying aid workers. The troops threw sound grenades at the group and pulled a French diplomat out of an aid truck before it drove away. Three Palestinians were also reportedly arrested for throwing stones. Khirbet al-Makhul is said to be home to about 120 people. The Israeli military destroyed their houses on September 16 after a court ruled that they had been constructed without building permits and declared the area a "closed military zone." The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the Israeli regime has destroyed over 500 properties belonging to Palestinians in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in the West Bank since the beginning of this year. The regime has also displaced 862 people.