Israeli demolitions in 2020 have soared, leaving hundreds of Palestinian families homeless, further exposing many to risks associated with COVID-19. (Sliman Khader/FLASH90)
In two weeks between the period of December 8 and 21, Israeli occupation forces and settlers demolished or seized 21 Palestinian structures, bulldozed dozens of dunums of agricultural land, and uprooted hundreds of trees and saplings in various parts of the occupied West Bank, said a UN body.
According to the biweekly Protection of Civilians Report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs /OCHA/ in the occupied Palestinian territory Israel killed one Palestinian, injured more than 80 others, and detained 154 people in the same period.
OCHA said that a total of 21 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized due to a lack of rarely-issued Israeli building permits, displacing 14 people and otherwise affecting over 100.
The year 2020 has recorded the second highest number of structures demolished /after 2016/ since OCHA began systematically documenting this practice in 2009.
Israeli forces also bulldozed some 30 dunums of agricultural land near Suba village in the Hebron district on grounds that it had been declared ‘state land’. About 930 olive, grape, almond and cactus trees were uprooted or damaged during the incident, in addition to agricultural terraces, metal bars and fences and a gate. The livelihoods of eight families were affected.
In addition, Israeli settlers uprooted or damaged 740 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings in various parts of the West Bank.
Since the start of 2020, at least 8,550 trees have been damaged by Israeli settlers, said OCHA.