Today, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah strongly condemned the “ongoing large-scale” demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes, schools and water cisterns is not only unlawful but also immoral. Our people will not be deterred from living on their ancestral lands.”
In the past few days, Israeli forces demolished homes and animal structures in Khirbet Tell el Himma (Jordan Valley), a residential building in At Tur (East Jerusalem), a classroom belonging to the Abu Nuwar Bedouin community (East Jerusalem), an animal shelter in Beit Dajan (Nablus), water cisterns in Jurat al Kheil (Sa’ir), and barracks in Khan al Ahmar (East Jerusalem), according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The international community has condemned Israel’s destruction of Palestinian property, with the most recent statement coming from the Middle East Quartet, expressing “its grave concern” over “the continued high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures, [which] are steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.” But in spite of the international criticism, Israel is stepping up its efforts to destroy Palestinian homes.
“Israel continues to act above the law, “said Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications and Media at the Prime Minister’s Office. “Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, destruction of private property is prohibited. Devastating Palestinian communities to pave the way for more illegal Israeli settlements does not constitute implementation of ‘the rule of law,’ as Israeli officials claim,” Dajani added.
This year alone, Israeli authorities demolished 820 homes and other structures, leaving 1,120 people homeless, many of whom are children. Some of the demolished structures are emergency shelters provided by the international community after previous demolitions, as was the case in Al Aqaba village, where Israel recently destroyed five donor-funded shelters.