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OCHA: Israel demolished or seized 89 Palestinian-owned structures in two weeks, displacing 146 people, including 83 children

OCHA: Israel demolished or seized 89 Palestinian-owned structures in two weeks, displacing 146 people, including 83 children
Israeli demolitions in Humsa al-Fouqa al-Bqai'a. (File photo)

JERUSALEM, Saturday, February 20, 2021 (WAFA) - Citing the lack of building permits, 89 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized, displacing 146 people, of whom 83 were children, and otherwise affecting at least 330, according to the biweekly report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In its Protection of Civilians report covering the two-week period between 2 and 15 February, OCHA said that on 3 and 8 February, the Israeli authorities demolished 37 structures, most of which were donated, in Humsa al-Bqaia community in the Jordan Valley. Sixty people, including 35 children, were displaced on each occasion. On 16 February, Israeli forces confiscated five donor-funded livelihood tents.

The community, most of which is located in an area designated for Israeli military training, has been subject to multiple mass demolitions in recent months. A UN statement issued on 5 February warned that pressure on the community to move raises a real risk of forcible transfer.

In the south of the West Bank, south of Hebron, seven structures, including mobile latrines, were seized in the communities of al Rakeez, Umm al-Kheir and Khirbet at Tawamin, affecting the living conditions and livelihoods of 80 people.

In al Jalama near Jenin in the north of the West Bank, the livelihoods of about 70 people were affected as a result of the demolition of 13 beverage stalls.

In addition, the Israeli authorities demolished, on punitive basis, a home in Tura al Gharbiya village near Jenin, displacing 11 people, including four children. The house belonged to the family of a Palestinian who was indicted for killing an Israeli settler in December. Last year, seven structures were demolished on similar grounds.

Seven structures were also demolished in East Jerusalem, including four by their owners who wished to avoid fines; a family of four was displaced.

The Israeli occupation authorities uprooted 1,000 saplings near the city of Tubas in the Jordan Valley, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture. They were planted in response to the uprooting of thousands of trees last month in the same area, on the grounds that the land had been declared ‘state land.’ On 5 February, an Israeli settler shot and killed a 34-year-old Palestinian near a newly-constructed settlement outpost next to the village of Ras Karkar near Ramallah.

Another Palestinian, aged 25, was killed in Nuba village near Hebron, when an unexploded ordnance left by the Israeli army he found near his house exploded.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers injured four Palestinians, including a child, and damaged Palestinian-owned properties, including trees, during the reporting period, said the OCHA report.

Over 130 olive trees and saplings were uprooted or cut down in the communities of Khirbet Sarra near Nablus, Bruqin and Kafr al-Dik near Salfit, in the north of the West Bank, in al- Tuwani and Bir al-Idd, near Hebron, and in al Janiya near Ramallah.

In Qawawis, a shepherd reported the death of seven of his sheep from poisonous material that had been sprayed by settlers from the nearby illegal Mitzpe Yair settlement who, he says, repeatedly attack him while he grazes his sheep. In another incident in the area of Ein al-Rashrash in Ramallah, a shepherd reported that a vehicle driven by a settler had hit and killed two of his sheep.

Israeli settlers also damaged a surveillance camera and a lock in the Romanian Orthodox Church in occupied East Jerusalem.

Seventy-one Palestinians were also injured during the reporting period in clashes with Israeli occupation soldiers across the West Bank., and Israeli forces carried out 186 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 172 Palestinians across the West Bank.

M.K.

 

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