UN: Israel Demolished 88 Palestinian Structures, Displaced 54 Children, Killed 31 People in 3 Weeks

UN: Israel Demolished 88 Palestinian Structures, Displaced 54 Children, Killed 31 People in 3 Weeks

Israeli soldier detains Palestinian boy in Hebron in occupied West Bank (File photo: Reuters)

The Israeli occupation authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 88 Palestinian-owned structures in occupied East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, displaced 99 people, and killed 31 others, a United Nations body said.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory said in its biweekly Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 10 and 30 January that the demolitions were carried out under the pretext of the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.

As a result, 99 Palestinians, including 54 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of more than 21,000 others were affected.

It said 55 of the structures were in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control, including five structures demolished based on Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition.

The remaining 26 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including eight that were destroyed by their owners, to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.

In Area B of the West Bank, which is under Palestinian administration and Israeli security control, the Israeli authorities sealed off two under-construction artisan water wells, one in Habla and another in Kaqr Laqif, both in the Qalqiliya district; Both wells would have supplied the main drinking water and irrigation source for at least 1,500 Palestinian families in four communities.

A donor-funded school is at an imminent risk of demolition in southern Hebron, according to OCHA. On 18 January, the Israeli High Court ruled that the Israeli authorities’ plan to demolish the school may proceed starting 28 January. The donor-funded school is serving 47 children in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khashm al Karem, located in an area designated as “Firing Zone 917” in southern Hebron.

Closures across the West Bank continue to disrupt the access of thousands of Palestinians to livelihoods and services, said OCHA. Closure was imposed on Jericho since 28 January. Five checkpoints were erected, including concrete blocks, and are staffed by Israeli forces at the main entrances of Jericho. Extensive searches have been taking place at the checkpoints, primarily when leaving Jericho city. This has restricted the movement of about 50,000 people, forcing residents to use alternative dirt roads and long detours to access clinics, schools, and markets.

In the H2 area of Hebron city, on 23 and 29 January, Israeli forces closed off the al-Salaymeh (Checkpoint 160) for several hours during school time. This has limited the movement of about 1,200 residents of the area and affected the access of about 300 students from eleven nearby schools.

On 15 January, the Israeli army blocked with earth mounds and concrete blocks the entrance of Khirbet Atuf community in Tubas, obstructing the movement of at least 120 Palestinians.

Also during the reporting period, OCHA said 31 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire and 441 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A total of 35 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during January.

It said 10 Palestinians, including two children and one woman, were killed during an Israeli army assault on Jenin refugee camp on January 26, and 26 others were injured with live ammunition, which was the highest number of Palestinians killed in a single operation in the West Bank since OCHA started recording data on casualties in 2005.

During the reporting period, 422 Palestinians, including at least 49 children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank, of whom 74 (18%) were shot with live ammunition.

Israeli settlers also injured 18 Palestinians, including at least one child, in nine incidents, and caused damage to Palestinian property in another 42 instances.

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