UNRWA: Israel’s displacement of Palestinians ‘doubles’
BETHLEHEM – The number of Palestinians displaced by Israeli demolitions this year has already more than doubled that of 2010, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said Monday.
Research by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees found that 990 people — including 507 children — have lost their homes so far this year, Gunness told Ma’an. In 2010, 445 people — including 235 children — were displaced by Israeli demolitions.
He said 515 Palestinian structures have been demolished in the West Bank this year, of which 22 were in East Jerusalem.
“The loss of a home in normal times is highly destabilizing, but in the context of occupation and annexation it often becomes lastingly traumatic, especially for children,” Gunness said.
“The United Nations calls on the Israeli authorities to abide by their obligations under international law, of which these displacements and demolitions are a clear violation.”
A report by the Diakonia resource center for international humanitarian law says Israel’s civil administration systematically destroys Palestinian structures built without Israeli permission in the 62 percent of the West Bank designated Area C under the Oslo Accords.
The destruction of any civilian object during occupation is prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention “except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations” and even then, only if the structure is used solely by militants, Diakonia says.