In 2020, the occupied West Bank has been dealt with more destruction than it has seen in years, according to a UN official.
“So far in 2020, 689 structures have been demolished across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than in any full year since 2016,” Yvonne Helle, the humanitarian coordinator ad interim for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement.
Underlining that this destruction led to the displacement of some 869 Palestinians, Helle said Israeli authorities generally claim a lack of Israeli-issued building permits as a reason for their acts.
She stressed, however, that Palestinians can almost never get such permits due to the “restrictive and discriminatory planning regime.”
“Demolitions are a key means of creating an environment designed to coerce Palestinians to leave their homes,” Helle said.
“The largest forced displacement incident in over four years” took place on Tuesday in the Palestinian community of Humsa Al Bqai’a, located in the Jordan Valley, Helle highlighted.
“Some 73 people, including 41 children, were displaced when Israeli authorities demolished their homes and other structures and destroyed belongings,” she said.
She added that humanitarian agencies confirmed 76 demolished structures in the Palestinian community, the highest number in a single demolition in the last decade.
Israel occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, in 1967.
The Palestinians want these territories – along with the Gaza Strip – for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.