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OCHA: Occupation forces demolished 30 Palestinian structures in last two weeks

Ramallah (QNN) – Israeli occupation authorities demolished or seized 30 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 25 people and otherwise affecting around 140 others, according to the biweekly Protection of Civilians Report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory covering the period between 14 and 27 July.

In one incident on 21 July, the Israeli authorities demolished a structure on the outskirts of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, which, according to the Hebron Municipality, was planned to be used as a COVID-19 testing centre.

This and three other structures were demolished using Military Order 1797, which allows the removal of “unauthorized” buildings within 96 hours from the delivery of a notice. Humanitarian and human rights organizations have repeatedly raised concern about this procedure, which largely prevents affected people from being heard before a judicial body.

Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency on 5 March, citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished or seized 19 inhabited homes that were in place prior to that date, displacing 104 Palestinians, said the OCHA report. This follows a commitment by the occupation authorities to suspend the demolition of such structures during the pandemic.

An additional seven inhabited homes were demolished during this period by their owners, following the issuance of demolition orders. Since the start of the emergency, 282 Palestinian structures of all types have been demolished or seized due to lack of building permits, in contravention to international humanitarian law, it said.

Israeli settlers also injured three Palestinians and vandalized a mosque, some 30 trees and other properties during the reporting period, said OCHA. The injuries include two Palestinian men physically assaulted with sticks and stoned in Turmus’ayya village near Ramallah and another in the Israeli-army controlled H2 area of Hebron city.

On 27 July, a mosque in Al Bireh city, adjacent to Ramallah, was set on fire, damaging parts of it, and Hebrew graffiti was painted on its walls. Some 30 olive trees were set on fire or cut down in Turmus’ayya, as well as Burin and Qaryut villages near Nablus in the north of the West Bank, and Sa’ir town, near Hebron. Other properties vandalized include bulldozers and other tools at a quarry in Jamma’in village near Nablus and closed shops in the H2 area of Hebron city.

Also in H2 area in Hebron, and on 21 July, two Palestinian boys, ages 11 and 14 years, were burned and injured, one of them severely, after handling an object that fell from an Israeli aircraft, reportedly during a military training, and ignited. The incident occurred near the boys’ home.

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