JERUSALEM, April 7, 2016 (WAFA) - UNRWA condemned Thursday’s large scale home demolitions by the Israeli Authorities in the Bedouin refugee community of Um al Khayr in the South Hebron Hills.
In a press statement, the agency noted that 31 Palestine refugees, including 16 children, were made homeless as a result to the demolitions.
It confirmed that the affected community has endured several rounds of demolitions and often faced harassment from the nearby illegal settlement of Karmel.
Lance Bartholomeusz, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank said, “I am appalled. Looking in the eyes of a young Bedouin boy in a red shirt standing amongst the crumpled ruins of his demolished home, how can anyone justify this?”
Since the beginning of 2016, over 700 Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli demolitions in the West Bank. This figure is approaching the total number of displaced for all of 2015.
UNRWA expressed its concern about the demolitions which come in violation of international law.
“Under the Fourth Geneva Convention destruction of private property is prohibited. As Occupying Power, Israel is obliged to administer the occupied territory for the welfare of the protected Palestinian population,” the press release added.
UNRWA reiterated UN’s previous statements saying, “These demolitions must stop.”