UN: In 2 weeks, Israel demolished 50 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 55 people, including 28 children

Bethlehem/PNN/

The Israeli occupation authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 50 Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 55 people, including 28 children, and the livelihoods of approximately 220 others were affected, according to a United Nations report.

The biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the period between 2 and 15 August report, published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, said that 12 of the demolished structures were donor-funded humanitarian assistance projects.

The report explained that 42 of the structures were in Area C, including 13 demolished in two Bedouin communities (Abu Shusheh and al-Zaayyem) in Area C of the Jerusalem governorate. One of which is located in an area planned for a major expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement (the ‘E1’ Plan) and is at risk of forcible transfer due to a ‘relocation’ plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. Eight other structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including three structures destroyed by their owners to avoid paying fines.

In addition, on 8 August, Israeli forces raided Rummana village, in Area B, in the Jenin district, and demolished on punitive grounds two multistory homes of families whose members are indicted for killing three people and injuring three others in Israel in May. The displaced families comprise 13 people, including four children, in three households.

Since the beginning of 2022, 10 homes were demolished on punitive grounds, compared with three in all of 2021 and six in 2020. Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and as such are illegal under international law as they target the families of perpetrators or alleged perpetrators, said OCHA.

Two donor-funded schools are at risk of demolition in southern Hebron and Ramallah, according to the UN report. On 3 August, the Israeli civil administration issued a final demolition order against two rooms that are part of a school in Mantiqat Shi’b al Butum, south of Hebron. The school was built in 2015 through a donor-funded project and serves children from a large number of communities.

In another incident on 10 August, an Israeli court ordered the immediate demolition of a donor-funded school in the herding community of Ein Samiya, northeast of Ramallah, affecting about 17 students. The school is now under imminent threat of demolition. The demolition of the school jeopardizes the students’ right to education, said OCHA.

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