Israel proceeds with demolitions, evictions and arrests of Palestinians

Palestinians clash with Israeli occupation soldiers near Jabal Sabih in the village of Beita, south of Nablus

THE UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israeli forces have either demolished or seized 24 Palestinian-owned buildings in the occupied territories of West Bank and Jerusalem in a span of just two weeks.

In its bi-weekly report of last Friday on Israeli violations, the OCHA said the demolitions were carried out between 15 and 28 March 2021 under the pretext they didn’t have the necessary construction permits – which are almost impossible to obtain – the Palestinian Information Centre reported on Sunday.

The report added that the demolitions have displaced 23 people, including 11 children, and affected over 1,200 others.

The OCHA added that 16 of the structures were located in the so-called Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli military control, and the rest were in East Jerusalem.

According to the United Nations aid agency, most of the demolitions were carried out in the Masafer Yatta area south of Hebron, where the Israeli authorities had also destroyed three roads and the main water pipeline serving multiple Palestinian communities last month.

The deadline set by Israeli authorities for the demolition 13 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem has now run out.

Moreover, the OCHA said in the same report, Israeli forces have killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy and a 29-year-old Palestinian woman in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank on June 16.

They have also injured at least 1,075 Palestinians, including 238 children, across the West Bank.

Some 790 of those Palestinians, including 237 children, were injured during protests against the establishment of an Israeli settlement outpost near the village of Beita, south of Nablus.

The rest were wounded in other locations, including East Jerusalem, Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya City, and al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah.

The OCHA further noted that the Israeli forces have carried out 144 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 180 Palestinians, including seven children, across the West Bank during the reporting period.

Israeli settlers have also injured at least nine Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem and have damaged Palestinian-owned properties right across the occupied territories, including agricultural structures.

Throughout the years, Israel has frequently demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Tel Aviv regime even orders the Palestinian owners to tear down their own homes otherwise they have to pay the heavy demolition costs to the Israeli municipality.

The United Nations says Israel is flagrantly violating international law by expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

At the same time, Israel has expanded its illegal settlements for Israelis in occupied Palestinian territories – which are all illegal under international law.

The demolitions and evictions carried out by Israeli authorities are seen as part of their efforts to forcibly displace Palestinians and change the demographic character of the occupied territories.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.