Israeli occupation forces demolished at least 70 Palestinian buildings in the occupied West Bank and displaced 90 Palestinians, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has revealed.
The international organisation said in its biweekly report, which covers the period between 2-15 June, that the demolitions took place over alleged lack of construction permits.
“This represents a 250 per cent increase compared with the weekly average of structures targeted since the beginning of the year,” the report said, noting that “61 of the affected structures were located in Area C, including nine previously provided as humanitarian assistance.”
It added: “Among the hardest hit areas was Massafer Yatta in southern Hebron, where the Israeli authorities demolished 17 homes, cisterns and livelihood-related structures.”
Massafer Yatta, the report noted, is an area designated as a “firing zone” for Israeli military training and “its 1,300 residents face a coercive environment putting them at risk of forcible transfer.”
The reported also said that “nine of the affected structures were in East Jerusalem, of which four were demolished by their Palestinian owners to avoid municipal fees and possible damage to other structures and personal belongings.”
UNOCHA said that “the increase in demolitions and displacement amidst the ongoing covid-19 pandemic raises serious concern.”