OCHA: IOF destroys eight Palestinian-owned structures in West Bank
Eight Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem were demolished forced to be demolished, or confiscated by Israeli occupation authorities in September. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory monthly report on West Bank demolitions and displacement for the month of September, this resulted in the displacement of two people and impacted the livelihoods or access to services of about 50 others.
According to the report, all of the structures were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are practically impossible to get for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In September, the number of structures demolished or confiscated, as well as people relocated, was the lowest since June 2017. According to OCHA, the reduction could be ascribed in part to Jewish festivals.
However, the number of structures demolished or confiscated, as well as the number of individuals relocated, has increased by 21% and 28%, respectively, in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. In 2021, 311 structures, or 56% of all properties targeted in Area C, were seized without, or with very little, prior notice, using a variety of military orders, thereby barring individuals from opposing in advance.
Three buildings were demolished in Area C, the lowest number recorded since mid-2018. All the structures were houses under construction, two of which were demolished on the basis of Military Order 1797, providing a 96-hour notice only, and very limited grounds, for legally challenging a demolition.
All five structures in East Jerusalem were destroyed by their owners, including two home extensions where an elderly woman and a girl were displaced. The total number of such demolitions carried out by the owners since the beginning of the year in East Jerusalem has reached 68.
Owners destroy their own homes to avoid paying exorbitant costs for the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem if it carries out the demolition itself.
No donated structure was demolished or seized in September, stated OCHA. Nevertheless, the number of such assets destroyed or confiscated has increased by almost 96 percent so far in 2021 compared with the equivalent period in 2020 (from 94 to 184). A renewed warning was issued against an EU-funded school, which remains under threat of demolition.