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UN Organization Reports Demolition of 300 Buildings in West Bank, Jerusalem in 2022

UN Organization Reports Demolition of 300 Buildings in West Bank, Jerusalem in 2022

Tuesday, 7 June, 2022 - 10:30
Palestinians inspect the damage to a house demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank on June 2, 2022. (EPA)

Israeli occupation forces have demolished or seized 300 buildings across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the beginning of 2022, a UN report has revealed.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) report, 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% of its space.

It affirmed that it is nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain such permits in the occupied Jerusalem due to the bureaucracy and policy of restrictions followed by the occupation authorities against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Area C, where Israeli controls the construction process.

The organization accused Israel of exploiting the lands and space available for construction in Jerusalem and Area C for the internationally-banned settlement expansion, which is considered a violation of international law.

Israel has been demolishing Palestinian homes since it captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war.

Many Palestinians cannot complete the complicated procedures required by the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem or the city administration in Area C to receive the building permits. The procedures are costly and take years to be fulfilled.

The report backs other similar local, international and Israeli reports, including one by the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem), in which it accuses Israel of preventing Palestinian development and dispossessing Palestinians of their land, with a view to enabling Israel to use as much of the West Bank for its own needs.

According to Palestinian officials, there are now over 20,000 housing units built without permits in East Jerusalem, all of which are at risk of demolition.

The figures reflect the demolition of Palestinian-owned structures and the resulting displacement of people from their homes across the West Bank since 2009.

Together with other policies and practices, the threat of destruction of homes and sources of livelihood contributes to the generation of a coercive environment pressuring people to leave their areas of residence.

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