Sharp Increase in Demolitions and Displacement in the West Bank

August 17th, 2010 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec, Events, Politics
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U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. July 2010. download report

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Photo: Palestinians surviving in terrible living conditions under Israeli occupation.

In recent weeks, around 550 people have lost their homes or sources of livelihood as a result of demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem and Area C. These recent developments represent a significant increase in demolitions and forced displacement in the West Bank, raising a number of serious humanitarian concerns.

Demolitions and displacement in 2010

According to OCHA’s records, at least 230 Palestinian structures have been demolished in East Jerusalem and Area C in over 40 separate incidents since the beginning of this year. As a result, more than 1100 Palestinians, including over 400 children, have been forcibly displaced or otherwise affected owing to extensive damage of property or destruction of livelihood.

More than two thirds of this year’s demolitions took place in July. During the month, Israeli authorities demolished over 140 Palestinian structures, including homes, tents, animal shelters, barracks, water cisterns, sanitation units, shops and other commercial enterprises. On 13 July, 7 Palestinian homes, 5 of them inhabited, were demolished in East Jerusalem, leaving 25 people, including 14 children – one of them only 2 months old – forcibly displaced. Similarly, nearly an entire Palestinian village, Al Farisiye in the Jordan Valley, was forcibly displaced on 19 July.

In addition, there has been a marked increase in the number of stop-work and demolition orders being issued by Israeli authorities in Area C in recent months. According to NGOs that provide legal aid to those affected, requests for legal assistance quadrupled in June and July.

Among those most at risk are communities that reside in areas designated by Israeli authorities as closed military or firing zones, which currently cover over 18% of the West Bank, in particular if located in close proximity to Israeli settlements.

download report by U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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