The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, revealed in its weekly report, covering the period between 18 – 31 October 2016, that Israel’s demolition policy has increased by 150% compared to 2015.
Citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or confiscated 18 structures in six Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem and Area C, displacing 54 people, including 29 children and affecting the livelihoods of more than 46 others, according to the report.
Eight of the targeted structures, including residential shelters, latrines and a water cistern, had been provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions.
This brings the total number of assistance items destroyed or confiscated since the beginning of 2016 to 273, up more than 150 per cent compared to all of 2015.
Israeli forces, along with the Israel Antiquities Authority, also damaged construction materials in a cemetery near the Old City of Jerusalem, on grounds of being used to build gravestones without permits.
According to the report, Israeli forces conducted, on five separate occasions, military training exercises in the northern Jordan Valley, in the vicinity of three herding communities (Humsa al Bqai’a, Tell al Khashabeh and Lifjim).
While these incidents resulted in no displacement, damage to structures and access restrictions to grazing areas were reported, affecting 15 families.
During the reported period, Israeli forces conducted 196 search and arrest operations and arrested 234 Palestinians in the West Bank.
The Jerusalem governorate accounted for the highest portion of arrests (97) and operations (56), including the raiding of a secondary boys school in East Jerusalem.
Also, in Jerusalem, the Israeli police banned 15 Palestinians from entering the al Aqsa Mosque for periods ranging between two weeks and three months.