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Jul 25, 2:55 PM EDT

Israel demolishes more Palestinian homes this year than last

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Conflict in the Middle East

West Bank road

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A leading Israeli human rights group says Israel has demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank this year than it did nearly every other year in the last decade.

The B'Tselem group reported Monday that Israeli authorities demolished 168 homes in the West Bank from January to the end of June this year. It says that's more than the number of homes demolished in 2015, and higher than the annual rate of demolitions since 2006, except for the 175 Palestinian homes demolished in 2013.

The group says this year's demolitions left 740 Palestinians homeless.

B'Tselem says most of the demolitions were in areas of the West Bank where Israel controls building. Israel says much Palestinian building in those areas is illegal.

Israeli defense officials had no immediate comment.

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