UN: July recorded the second-highest number of Israeli demolition of Palestinian structures so far this year


The month of July recorded the second-highest number of Israeli demolition of Palestinian-owned structures so far this year after the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 126 structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) n the occupied Palestinian territory.

This resulted in the displacement of 181 people, including 105 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of nearly 2,000 others, it said in its monthly report on West Bank demolitions and displacement.

All but one structure were located in Area C of the occupied West Bank or East Jerusalem and was targeted due to the lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The remaining structure was punitively demolished in Area A, which is under full Palestinian rule, as it belonged to the family of a Palestinian who killed an Israeli settler on 2 May.

The number of structures demolished or seized in July is the second-highest this year, surpassed only by February (153), said OCHA. So far, 2021 has recorded an increase of 40 percent in the number of demolitions compared with the equivalent period in 2020 and approximately the same level of destruction of donor-funded assets (161 vs. 157 structures).

So far in 2021, 295 structures, or 62 percent of all structures targeted in Area C, have been seized without, or with very short, prior notice, preventing affected people from objecting in advance.

Thirty-one of the structures demolished or seized in July had been provided as humanitarian aid. In addition, four EU-funded residential structures received stop-work orders in Khirbet Ar Rahwa in the Hebron district, at a value of over 9,000 euros.

About 80 percent of Area C demolitions and 90 percent of people displaced were recorded in two Area C herding communities. On 14 July, 49 structures were demolished in Ras al Tin, of which at least 21 were residential structures, 16 animal shelters, and 12 solar panels; 84 people were displaced, including 53 children.

On 7 July, 30 structures were demolished in the Bedouin community of Humsa al Bqai’a in the Tubas district, displacing 42 people. This community is located in an area designated by the Israeli authorities for military training purposes and has recorded seven demolition incidents since the beginning of the year.

The majority of people affected (an estimated 1,650 out of 1,889 people) were in three incidents, where a mobile clinic was demolished in Umm Qussa community near Hebron, an under-construction school was demolished in the Shufat neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and an agricultural reservoir in was demolished Furush Beit Dajan in the Nablus region. In Bardalah, near Tubas, the Israeli authorities demolished a livelihood structure on the basis of Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition.

In occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished or forced people to demolish 21 structures, almost the same number as those demolished in June when 20 structures were demolished. Eleven of the structures were demolished by the owners following the issuance of a demolition order, bringing the total number of such demolitions carried out by the owners since the beginning of the year to 42.

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