Israeli forces demolish wedding hall in occupied West Bank
Ihsan Awad, head of the Jubara Village Council, told the Palestinian Authority's WAFA news agency that the local community was shocked after Israeli forces escorted three bulldozers in the village of Jubara. Soldiers raided the area and cordoned off the hall as the bulldozers reduced the building to rubble.
Awad added that the 900-metre-square building included a small residential apartment, leaving the family resident there homeless.
Read also: Interview with former Obama adviser: 'Formal annexation won't change anything on the ground
According to Awad, the the demolished wedding hall belonged to a Palestinian citizen of Israel, who previously received demolition notices under the pretext that the structure does not have a valid permit - a common reason given for the destruction of other Palestinian buildings in the West Bank.
The demolition is going to serve as space for a new illegal Israeli settlement industrial zone.
Israeli permits serving as a pretext for demolition
Often, Israeli authorities force Palestinians to demolish their own homes under the pretext of the structures not having a valid building permit.
Applications for building permits are known to take years to be processed, while Israeli courts are given a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".
Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications across the occupied West Bank were approved by Israel, according to the UN.
The cost of a permit for a single home is estimated to be in the region of $30,000.
Decades of illegal occupation
Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.
More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.
The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.
Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.