The Israeli occupation authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 42 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including 17 homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, displacing 50 Palestinians, including 23 children, and affecting the livelihoods of more than 600 others, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.
It said in its biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the first two weeks of May that nine of the structures were provided by donors as humanitarian assistance, including a school.
More than half of the affected structures (26) were in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control, including a donor-funded school. The remaining 16 structures were demolished in occupied East Jerusalem, including two residential structures demolished in Wadi Qaddum area of Silwan, resulting in the displacement of seven households comprising 39 people including 22 children.
Another seven structures were destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.
Additionally, in Area A of the West Bank under full Palestinian rule, Israeli forces destroyed one residential structure and caused damage to three others during an Israeli force's operation carried out in the old city of Nablus.
On 7 May, Israeli forces demolished an EU-funded Palestinian school serving at least 40 pupils from Jibb al-Deeb, near Bethlehem, citing the lack of an Israeli-issued building permit and structural safety concerns. Fifty-seven schools across the West Bank are at risk of demolition, said OCHA.
In a separate incident, on 10 May, the Israeli civil administration along with Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated two tents that were used as temporary classrooms for the pupils of the school of Jibb al-Deeb. The tents were provided as humanitarian assistance in response to the demolition on 7 May. During the confiscation, confrontations erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces. As a result, eight Palestinians were injured; school equipment, including chairs and desks, was confiscated by Israeli forces.
On 2 and 3 May, Israeli forces raided the villages of Hajja, in Qalqilya governorate, and Haris, in Salfit governorate, in Area B of the West Bank, which is under Palestinian administration and Israeli military control, and demolished on punitive grounds two multiple-story homes of families whose members killed four Israelis and injured others. Three households, comprising 14 people, including eight children, were displaced. Nine others, including three children, were otherwise affected.
Since the beginning of 2023, 10 homes and one agricultural-related structure have been demolished on punitive grounds, compared with 14 structures in all of 2022 and three in 2021. Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and as such are illegal under international law as they target the families of a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator, said OCHA.
In addition to the demolitions, the OCHA report said that from the beginning of 2023 until 15 May, Israeli forces killed 108 Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than double the death toll of 51 in the same period in 2022, and 12 other Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli forces while attacking or allegedly trying to attack Israeli forces in the West Bank.