The Civil Administration on Wednesday knocked down 13 structures - most of them toilet facilities - donated by Christian groups to Palestinians living in two cave communities in the West Bank.
The Civil Administration, a branch of the Israel Defense Forces that deals with civilian issues in the territories, sent troops Wednesday afternoon to knock the buildings down.
The facilities serve dozens of residents of the Mrar al-Abid and Safieh communities, which are otherwise not connected to a water supply or any electrical grid.
The cave dwellers have previously suffered from harassment by the IDF, which has in the past destroyed their homes and sealed up water sources as well as restricting their freedom of movement. Local residents have also been victims of settler intimidation.
The High Court of Justice, however, has prevented the cave dwellers' expulsion from their communities.
The Civil Administration said the structures were demolished because they were constructed without building permits in accordance with the law.
The South Hebron Hills region coordinator for the Ta'ayush Arab-Jewish organization, Ezra Nawi, said he believes the demolition of the structures is connected to a planned move by the government to evacuate illegal settlements in the area. Nawi said the state is attempting to show it is confronting the phenomenon of illegal Palestinian construction just as it is facing off against illegal settlement outposts.