The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the Israeli occupation authorities demolished, seized, or forced people to demolish 50 Palestinian structures, mostly homes, during two weeks in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
In its biweekly report on Israeli violations, OCHA explained that the demolition measures were carried out during the period 2 – 15 August 2022 at the pretext that the owners had no Israeli-issued building permits.
12 of those structures were donor-funded humanitarian assistance projects.
The demolitions displaced 55 people, including 28 children, and affected the livelihoods of about 220 others, according to the report.
42 of the structures were in Area C of the West Bank, including 13 demolished in two Bedouin communities (Abu Shusheh and Az-Za’ayyem) in Area C of the Jerusalem governorate.
“One of which is located in an area planned for a major expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement (the ‘E1’ Plan) and are at risk of forcible transfer due to a ‘relocation’ plan advanced by the Israeli authorities,” OCHA pointed out.
Eight other structures were demolished in east Jerusalem, including three structures destroyed by their owners to avoid paying fines and demolition expenses to the Israeli municipality.
On August 8, Israeli forces raided Rummanah village in Jenin (in Area B) and demolished on punitive grounds two multi-story homes, displacing families of 13 people, including four children.
“Since the beginning of 2022, 10 homes were demolished on punitive grounds, compared with three in all of 2021 and six in 2020,” OCHA said, describing Israel’s punitive demolitions as “a form of collective punishment” and “illegal under international law.”
Two donor-funded schools are also at risk of demolition in southern al-Khalil and Ramallah, according to OCHA.
On August 3, the Israeli army’s civil administration issued a final demolition order against two rooms that are part of a school in Shi’ab al Batum, south of al-Khalil.
OCHA said that this school was built in 2015 through a donor-funded project and serves children from a large number of communities.
In another incident on August 10, an Israeli court ordered the immediate demolition of a donor-funded school in the herding community of Ein Samiya, northeast of Ramallah, affecting about 17 students.
The school is now at imminent threat of demolition, OCHA warned.