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Irish Foreign Minister dismayed at Israeli demolitions in Humsa al-Bqaia, describes them as horrific acts

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said he was dismayed at the Israeli demolitions at Humsa al-Bqaia Bedouin community in the Israeli-occupied northern Jordan Valley, describing them as horrific.

“This week, Israeli authorities demolished the homes of Palestinian families in the West Bank community of Humsa al-Bqaia, seizing the structures which provided them shelter and enabled their livelihoods, and displacing over 50 people, including 32 children,” said Coveney in a statement.

“The seizure of structures in this community, which had been erected with humanitarian assistance following previous demolition of the community’s property by Israeli authorities in November, are egregious acts against a vulnerable population.” Coveney stressed that International Humanitarian Law, and in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits the unnecessary destruction of private property.

“I am particularly dismayed that demolitions have continued, and even increased in the last year, despite the commitment made by the Israeli authorities not to target Palestinian residential structures during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Demolitions contribute to a coercive living environment for affected Palestinian communities. I am very concerned about an increased risk of effective displacement of civilians. I call on Israel, as the occupying power, to fulfil its obligations towards this community and to cease its harmful practice of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian property.”