Middle East

Israel destroyed 300 Palestinian structures since start of year

Israeli occupation authorities demolished 300 buildings in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The data is composed of each permanent closure or destruction of a residential or commercial property, or key piece of infrastructure such as water pipes, roads and network facilities.

The report issued by OCHA also warned that an imminent Israeli demolition of a Palestinian residential building, consisting of 12 housing units, based in the Wadi Qaddum neighbourhood of Silwan, will leave 74 Palestinians homeless, including 42 children.

Two of the households in the building are Palestine refugees, and another two would be displaced for the second time in two years, following previous demolitions.

The site on which the building is located has been designated by the Israeli authorities as an open green space, which will be used as a public garden.

READ: Palestinian children face ‘exponential suffering’ under apartheid Israel 

The UN agency said it aims to prevent the demolition through engagement with relevant authorities, adding that it stands ready to support those displaced if the demolition goes ahead.

Demolitions of Palestinian-owned buildings in Silwan and other parts of occupied East Jerusalem are common, as Palestinians in the city face difficulties in obtaining building permits from the occupation’s municipality.

Israel widely uses the pretext of lack of construction permits to demolish Palestinian homes, especially in Area C in the occupied West Bank, which constitutes around 60 per cent of its space.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into three portions, Area A, B and C. Area C is under Israel’s full administrative and security control until a final status agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

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