10% Increase in Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Structures Last Year - OCHA

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israel’s demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank soared by 10 percent last year as the Tel Aviv regime continues with its land expropriation policies in the occupied territories in blatant defiance of international law, according to Press T.V.

    “While in Area C, which makes over 60% of the area of the West Bank and is under full Israeli military control, the number of structures targeted in both years was approximately the same and stood at 270, occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds recorded a 25% increase compared to 2017. Of all structures targeted during 2018, 56 were donor-funded humanitarian aid structures, representing a 46% decline, compared to 2017 figures,” the UN body said in a report published on Sunday.

The report added that two of this month’s demolitions were on what Israeli officials described as punitive grounds, and the rest were due to the lack of difficult-to-obtain Israeli building permits.

“About 70% of the structures targeted this month were in Area C. The largest incident took place on December 4th in the Beit Hanina – al-Marwaha neighborhood, a community on the 'Jerusalem al-Quds side’ of the wall barrier, where eight commercial structures were demolished and goods were confiscated.

 “Five families, who reported a financial loss of almost 1.5 million Israeli shekels ($400,000), were affected. In another incident, the livelihoods of 70 people were affected by the demolition of a leather store on the margins of al-Bireh City near the Ramallah district,” OCHA pointed out.


Since 1967, the Israeli regime has been enforcing the draconian policy of demolishing the homes of those Palestinians who "are deemed by Tel Aviv to be behind fatal attacks against Israeli settlers". The practice, however, was temporarily halted from 2005 to 2014, with the exception of 2009, when scores of homes were sealed and razed in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Nevertheless, in 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced as a policy the resumption of demolitions in the occupied West Bank.

Tel Aviv has been occupying the West Bank, including East al-Quds, since taking the Palestinian territory by force in 1967. Ever since the occupation, it has been propping up settlements throughout the land, in a move condemned by the United Nations, and considered illegal under international law, which bans construction on occupied territory.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6, 2017 to recognize al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

R.S