ANKARA

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday condemned Israel’s demolition of Palestinian dwellings throughout the West Bank which led to the displacement of dozens of families from their homes and lands.

“The action falls within the framework of the policies of ethnic cleansing, annexation and colonial settlement plans implemented by the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories,” the OIC said in a statement.

Underlining that the move violates international law and UN resolutions, the Muslim body called on the international community to put more pressure on Israel to end its violations and crimes across the occupied Palestinian territories.

“What happened does not serve the comprehensive and just peace process, called for by the Arab initiative based on the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” it stressed.

The largest forced displacement incident in over four years took place on Nov. 3 in the Palestinian community of Humsa Al Bqai’a, located in the Jordan Valley.

Some 73 people, including 41 children, were displaced when Israeli authorities demolished their homes and other structures and destroyed belongings, Yvonne Helle, the UN humanitarian coordinator ad interim for the occupied Palestinian territory, said last week in a statement.

She added that humanitarian agencies confirmed 76 demolished structures in the Palestinian community — the highest number in a single demolition in the last decade.

In 2020, the occupied West Bank has had to deal with more destruction than it has seen in years.

So far, 689 structures have been demolished this year across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This was more than in any full year since 2016, leading to the displacement of some 869 Palestinians, according to the UN.

Israeli authorities generally claim a lack of Israeli-issued building permits as the reason for these acts.

However, Palestinians argue that they are seldom able to get such permits due to what they say is a restrictive and discriminatory planning regime.

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