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Israel displaced 146 Palestinians in two weeks

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 89 Palestinian structures, mostly homes, during two weeks in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

In a biweekly report on Israeli violations issued on Friday, OCHA explained that the demolition measures were carried out during the period from 2-15 February 2021 at the pretext that the owners had no Israeli-issued building permits.

The demolitions displaced 146 people, including 83 children, and affected about 330 others, according to its report.

“On 3 and 8 February, the Israeli authorities demolished 37 structures, most of which were donated, in Humsa – Al Bqai’a community in the Jordan Valley. Sixty people, including 35 children, were displaced on each occasion. The community, most of which is located in an area designated for Israeli military training, has been subject to multiple mass demolitions in recent months. A UN statement issued on 5 February warned that pressure on the community to move raises a real risk of forcible transfer.”

“In south Hebron (al-Khalil), seven structures, including mobile latrines, were seized in the communities of Ar Rakeez, Umm al Kheir and Khirbet at Tawamin, affecting the living conditions and livelihoods of 80 people.”

“In addition, in Al Jalama (Jenin), the livelihoods of about 70 people were affected as a result of the demolition of 13 beverage stalls. Seven structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including four by their owners who wished to avoid fines; a family of four was displaced.”
“In addition, the Israeli authorities demolished, on punitive basis, a home in Tura al Gharbiya village (Jenin), displacing 11 people, including four children. The house belonged to the family of a Palestinian who was indicted for killing an Israeli woman in December. Last year, seven structures were demolished on similar grounds,” the report elaborated.

During the same reporting period, “the Israeli authorities uprooted 1,000 saplings near the city of Tubas, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture. They were planted in response to the uprooting of thousands of trees last month in the same area, on the grounds that the land had been declared ‘state land.’”

Over 130 olive trees and saplings were also uprooted or cut down by settlers in the communities of Khirbet Sarra (Nablus), Bruqin and Kafr ad Dik (Salfit), in At Tuwani and Bir al ‘Idd (Hebron), and in Al Janiya (Ramallah). Some 180 fence poles were stolen by settlers in Bruqin, according to the report.

In addition, settlers damaged an agricultural structure in Beit Dajan and set fire to a vehicle in Qusra (both in Nablus). Another vehicle was stoned and damaged by settlers while travelling near Bet El settlement (Ramallah).

“In Qawawis, a shepherd reported the death of seven of his sheep from poisonous material that he believes had been sprayed by settlers from the nearby Mitzpe Yair settlement who, he says, repeatedly attack him while he grazes his sheep.”

In another incident in the area of Ein ar-Rashrash in Ramallah, a shepherd reported that a vehicle driven by settlers hit and killed two of his sheep. Settlers also damaged a surveillance camera and a lock in the Romanian Orthodox Church in east Jerusalem.

“Three Palestinians were physically assaulted in two separate clashes with Israeli settlers in the village of Al Lubban ash Sharqiya (Nablus). A boy, aged 13, was physically assaulted in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2). A foreign volunteer was stoned and injured in Susiya village (Hebron), and other foreign and local volunteers were attacked and robbed in As Samu’ village by perpetrators believed to be settlers,” the report said further.

The report also said that Israeli forces carried out 186 search-and-arrest campaigns and arrested 172 Palestinians across the West Bank and Jerusalem.