Israel demolishes 42 buildings, displacing 50 Palestinians in 2 weeks: UN report

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 May 2023

The Israeli occupation authorities have demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 42 structures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including 17 homes, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory,.

Silwan, East Jerusalem
People were displaced after the Israeli demolition of their homes in the Wadi Qaddum area of Silwan, East Jerusalem. (Photo courtesy of Palestinian news agency of WAFA)


The demolitions resulted in the displacement of 50 Palestinians, including 23 children, and affected the livelihoods of more than 600 others, according to the biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the first two weeks of May.

The report revealed that nine of the buildings were provided by donors as humanitarian assistance, including a school.

More than half of the affected structures (26) were in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control, including a donor-funded school. The remaining 16 structures were demolished in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 7 May, Israeli forces demolished an EU-funded Palestinian school serving at least 40 pupils from Jibb al-Deeb, near Bethlehem, citing the lack of an Israeli-issued building permit and structural safety concerns. Fifty-seven schools across the West Bank are at risk of demolition, said OCHA.

In addition to the demolitions, the report said that from the beginning of 2023 until 15 May, Israeli forces killed 108 Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than double the death toll of 51 in the same period in 2022.

Twelve other Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli forces while allegedly attempting to attack them in the West Bank.

Furthermore, in Area A of the West Bank under full Palestinian rule, Israeli forces destroyed one residential building and caused damage to three others during an operation carried out in the old city of Nablus.

The report also stated that on 2 and 3 May, Israeli forces raided the villages of Hajja, in Qalqilya governorate, and Haris, in Salfit governorate, in Area B of the West Bank, under Palestinian administration and Israeli military control.

They demolished two multiple-story homes. Three households, comprising 14 people, including eight children, were displaced, and nine others, including three children, were otherwise affected.

Israeli settlers injured five Palestinians, including three with live ammunition, and people known or believed to be settlers damaged Palestinian property in another 28 instances across the West Bank.

The OCHA report further highlighted that since the beginning of 2023, 10 homes and one agricultural-related structure have been demolished on punitive grounds, compared with 14 structures in all of 2022 and three in 2021.

Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and are illegal under international law as they target the families of a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator, said OCHA.

The ongoing demolitions and violence in the West Bank have raised concerns among human rights organizations and the international community, who have called for an end to the occupation and a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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