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OCHA: 'Increase in Israeli demolitions, vandalism against Palestinians'

Dec. 9, 2018 11:23 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 15, 2018 2:00 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.

OCHA's biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017 and two in 2016.

OCHA stressed that as a result of the demolitions and seizure of Palestinian structures, 16 people, including six children, were displaced and 226 persons were affected. It said that 24 of the targeted structures were in occupied East Jerusalem and nine were in Area C, which make over 60% of the area of the occupied West Bank.

The largest incident took place in the Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where 20 structures were demolished in the same day, affecting the livelihood of 179 people, under the pretext of lacking building permits in an area designated for a road.

In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished an apartment built on the rooftop of a residential structure, displacing a Palestinian family of four, including two children.

In Area C, two of the structures demolished were donor-funded water tanks provided as humanitarian assistance in response to a previous demolition in the Suba village in southern West Bank district of Hebron. Also in Area C, another three residential structures were demolished, displacing 13 people.

The OCHA report also said that during the same period, at least 11 attacks by Israeli settlers were recorded in the West Bank resulting in Palestinian property damage.

Around 85 Palestinian-owned trees were vandalized by Israeli settlers in Turmusayya village, near Ramallah.

In another five incidents, in al-Mughayyir (Ramallah), al-Jabaa near Bethlehem, Beit Iksa near Jerusalem, and Asira al-Qibliya and Huwwara villages, both located in the Nablus district, Israeli settlers punctured the tires of 52 vehicles and sprayed spray painted racist, anti-Arab slogans on some of the vehicles and on the walls of schools, mosques and several homes.

The report added that Israeli settlers and other Israeli groups entered various religious sites in the West Bank, triggering altercations and clashes with Palestinians. The affected sites included the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem and a shrine in Sabastiya village in the Nablus district.

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