UN Mideast Coordinator Urges Israel to Cease Demolition of Palestinian Property

UN Mideast Coordinator Urges Israel to Cease Demolition of Palestinian Property

Some 73 Palestinians, including 41 children, were made homeless when their dwellings were knocked down in the Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Humsa, in the Jordan Valley in early November. (File photo via OCHA)

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, urged Israel to cease the demolition and seizure of Palestinian property throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to allow Palestinians to develop their communities.

A briefing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East said that Israeli authorities demolished or seized 170 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and 10 in East Jerusalem, displacing some 314 Palestinians, including 67 women and 177 children. The demolitions were carried out due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.

In a particularly concerning series of incidents, on 1, 3, 8, 16, and 22 February, Israeli forces demolished or confiscated 80 structures in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Humsa al-Bqai'a in an Israeli declared firing zone in the Jordan Valley. The actions displaced reportedly 63 people, including 36 children multiple times, and followed a similar demolition in November 2020.

Wennesland added that on 23 February, his Deputy and the Humanitarian Coordinator visited the site and called on Israeli authorities to cease further demolitions in accordance with international law and allow the humanitarian community to provide shelter, food, and water to this most vulnerable community.

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