(JTA) — Israel razed a Bedouin village in the West Bank on November 3rd, claiming that the villagers did not have building permits, according to reports.
Some seventy three people were displaced by the demolition, which a U.N. official said was the largest action of its kind by Israeli forces in a decade.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh claimed on Twitter that Israel planned the demolition for American election day to avoid scrutiny.
“As the attention is focused on the US Election, Israel chose this evening to commit another crime/ cover it up: to demolish seventy Palestinian structures, including homes,” he wrote on online.
Israel’s army liaison to the Palestinians confirmed the demolition but did not comment on the timing, Reuters reported.
Footage uploaded online by the B’Tselem Israeli human rights group shows construction vehicles filing into the area and the aftermath of the demolition. The footage showed beds, toilets and other household items out in the open.
Some of the displaced residents had moved back to the village site on Thursday, Reuters reported, and are staying in tents donated by aid groups.
“They want to expel us from the area so that settlers can live in our place, but we will not leave from here,” a resident said.