By Palestine Chronicle Staff
In a new report, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories said the new year had seen a massive Israeli escalation in the destruction of Palestinian homes and businesses.
“During January 2017, OCHA recorded the demolition of 140 structures by the Israeli authorities, displacing around 240 Palestinians and affecting another 4,000,” the report said.
“The number of structures demolished during the first month of the year was over 50 per cent higher than the monthly average of structures targeted in 2016 (91).”
OCHA noted that all of these demolitions were carried out in Area C and East Jerusalem on the grounds of the lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain for Palestinians.
Demolition reported this morning in Qalandiya refugee camp pic.twitter.com/gRJJHl7ejq
— OCHA oPt (Palestine) (@ochaopt) January 18, 2017
According to OCHA, the Israeli authorities continued to demolish Palestinian structures in the West Bank.
“During 2016 the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,093 Palestinian-owned structures throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing over 1,600 Palestinians, around half of them children, and affecting the livelihoods of more than 7,000 others. These figures are nearly double those of 2015 and the highest since 2009, when OCHA began the systematic monitoring of demolitions.”
The Israeli authorities have launched an intensified campaign against Palestinian structures in the West Bank to respond to pressures practiced by right-wing Israelis over relocating and demolishing Israeli settler outposts such as Amona. The campaign included targeting Palestinian houses in Israel in an unprecedented move.