Palestinian children in Humsa Village in the Jordan Valleys that was exposed to demolition by Israeli occupation forces on 3rd of November 2020, West Bank. (Photo: ActionAid Palestine)
Northern Jordan Valley-Humsa Community-ActionAid Palestine (AAP) supported initiatives of Palestinian youth to respond to and sustain the Palestinian village of Humsa al Bqai’a after Israeli occupation forces demolished its houses at the beginning of this month, according to an ActionAid Palestine press release.
This response includes providing 13 families whose tents were demolished with fire stones, fodder and crop seeds as they are essential to strengthen their resilience and fulfill their basic needs under hard economic and political conditions and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Occupied Palestinian Territory.
This emergency response to the Palestinian village of Humsa al-Bqai’a was initiated as part of the activities of AAP’s program of “the Civil and Democratic Participation of Palestinian Youth” particularly focusing on youth leadership of preparedness and response actions in emergency cases, whether they are caused by practices of Israeli occupation or consequences of the spread of COVID-19.
The youth group developed a response plan to this area after they identified the needs of its community and current threats.
On 3rd of November, 2020, the Israeli occupation has displaced 73 Palestinians, including 41 children and demolished 76 structures and destroyed properties – including homes, animal shelters, latrines and solar panels. Those destroyed structures were essential to, livelihoods, well-being and dignity of village’s residents, whose rights have been violated. Three quarters of the village’ s population lost their shelters, making this the largest forced displacement incident in over four years. Winter and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate their vulnerability as it will be difficult to fulfill their health and additional needs.
So far in 2020, 740 Palestinian structures have been demolished across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than in any full year since 2016; rendering 896 Palestinians homeless. The lack of Israeli-issued building permits is typically cited as a reason, even though, due to the restrictive and discriminatory planning regime, Palestinians can almost never obtain such permits. Demolitions are a key means of creating an environment designed to coerce Palestinians to leave their homes and displace the indigenous people from their lands.