UN says Israel intensifies demolitions of Palestinian structures


Palestinians inspect the damage after Israeli troops demolished a house of a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank village of Yatta on August 4, 2016. ©Reuters

The says the Israeli regime has dramatically increased its demolition campaign against Palestinian homes and structures across the occupied West Bank, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians since the beginning of the current year.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday that a total of 726 Palestinian structures had been razed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds since January, and the demolitions have affected 1,020 Palestinians.
The structures included houses, shelters for livestock and installations such as solar panels.
The world body noted that there were 533 demolitions and 688 displaced Palestinians in the entire 2015, meaning that demolitions so far this year have increased more than 36 percent.
The majority of demolitions took place in the Area C of the West Bank, which is the largest division in the occupied territory as it comprises 60 percent of the land, and is under full Israeli military control.
The OCHA said 30 people were displaced in 14 separate incidents in Area C and East Jerusalem al-Quds in the first week of August alone after “the Israeli authorities destroyed, forced owners to destroy, or confiscated 42 structures.”
The Israeli rights group B’Tselem also said that since the start of the year, the Israeli authorities had razed at least 188 homes in the West Bank, the highest ever since it started documenting home demolitions on grounds of “lack of building permits” in 2006.
The demolitions have raised alarm among diplomats and human rights groups over what they regard as the Tel Aviv regime’s continued violation of international law.
The occupied territories have witnessed a fresh bout of tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.
More than 220 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of last October.

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