In two weeks only, Israeli occupation demolished or seized 35 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 98 people, including 53 children, and affecting about 60 others, citing the lack of building permits, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In its biweekly Protection of Civilians report, OCHA said that on 22 February, Israeli authorities confiscated another 18 residential and animal structures in Humsa – Al Bqai’a, a Palestinian Bedouin community in Area C of the occupied northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank, most of which had been provided as a humanitarian response to previous demolitions and confiscations; 10 households, comprising over 60 people, including 36 children, were again displaced.
Also in Area C of the occupied West Bank, a family of seven was displaced when their home was demolished in al Khader town near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, and the livelihoods of four families were affected by the demolition of vegetable stalls in Hijra, in the Hebron district.
In occupied East Jerusalem, said OCHA, 28 people were displaced in al-Isawiyya and Ras al Amoud neighborhoods when three houses were demolished by the Israeli authorities or ‘self-demolished’ by their owners under pressure from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem.
Obtaining an Israeli building permit in Area C of the West Bank is impossible, while in East Jerusalem it is close to being impossible forcing Palestinians to risk building on their lands without a permit.
Since the start of 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities have demolished, seized or forced people to demolish at least 199 Palestinian-owned structures, including 77 donor-funded, displacing 285 people, including some 150 children. This represents an over 200 per cent increase in structures targeted, and an over 500 per cent increase in donor-funded structures targeted, compared to the equivalent period in 2020, according to OCHA.