Israel demolishes dozens of Palestinian homes in March: UN

Israel demolishes dozens of Palestinian West Bank homes in March: UN
2 min read
Israel routinely destroys the homes of families of alleged Palestinian attackers as a form of collective punishment against the community.
Israel forces demolished Palestinians homes under the pretext of not having a building permit [Getty]
Israeli authorities demolished 26 Palestinian-owned buildings in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem at the beginning of March, the UN reported.

The structures toppled between 2 and 15 March caused 42 people to be displaced, of which 24 were children, the report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated.

Seventeen of these structures were located in Area C of the Occupied West Bank, while two were in the Nablus region - in Ein Shibli village - whereby 17 people were displaced on the grounds of the Israeli Military Order 1797, which renders lawful demolitions taking place with as little as 96 hours of notice.

This move also displaced people living in Al-Tuwani and Khallet Athaba’, in Hebron and Bethlehem.

The demolition of a vegetable stall near Qalqilya city affected the livelihoods of 20 people, akin to the destruction of two uninhabited houses and a metal container in the Jericho area which affected 16 people.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967, committing various crimes against Palestinian civilians.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Often, Israel forces demolished Palestinians homes under the pretext of not having a building permit.

Applications for building permits are also known to take years to be processed, giving Israeli courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".

Four out of five of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications across the occupied West Bank were approved by Israel, according to the UN.

The cost of a permit for a single home is estimated to be in the region of $30,000.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem has accused Israel of creating "a Kafkaesque reality that leaves Palestinians almost no way to build legally".

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