UN: Israel demolished 43 Palestinian-owned structures in two weeks, displacing 56 people, including 33 children

The Israeli occupation authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 43 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including 11 homes, in the last two weeks of May, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, according to the biweekly Protection of Civilians Report published today by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.

As a result, 56 Palestinians, including 33 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of more than 200 others were affected. One of the affected structures was provided by donors as humanitarian assistance in Umm al Kheir herding community in Hebron, located in an area designated by the Israeli authorities as a ‘firing zone 917’ and declared closed for Israeli military training, said the report.

More than 80 percent of the affected structures (35) were in Area C. The remaining eight structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including two residential structures demolished in the Wadi Qaddum area of Silwan, resulting in the displacement of seven households comprising 39 people, including 22 children. Five out of the eight structures demolished in East Jerusalem were destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.

Additionally, said the report, during an Israeli military operation in Balata Refugee Camp in Area A of the West Bank, Israeli forces destroyed three residential structures, displacing six households comprising 34 people, including 20 children.

On 23 May, Israeli forces raided Ni’lin village, near Ramallah, in Area B of the West Bank, and demolished on punitive grounds the multiple-story home of a family whose member killed one Israeli and injured two others in an attack in Israel on 9 March 2023. One household, comprising 14 people, including eight children, was displaced, and two households were otherwise affected.

Since the beginning of 2023, 11 homes and one agricultural structure have been demolished on punitive grounds, compared with 14 structures in 2022 and three in 2021. Punitive demolitions are a form of collective punishment and as such are illegal under international law, said the UN agency.

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