OCHA Reveals ‘Record Number’ of Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Structures in 2016

Demolitions in Khirbet Tana on April 7, 2016. (Photo: UNOCHA, file)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed in a factsheet published on December 29 that “during 2016 (up until 28 December), the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 1,593 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of another 7,101.”

The organization noted that such figures are the highest since OCHA started recording them in 2009. “The vast majority of these structures were destroyed or seized for lack of Israeli-issued building permits,” OCHA stated.

OCHA highlighted the situation in the Gaza Strip and added, “In the Gaza Strip, as of end November, some 51,000 Palestinians are still displaced after losing their homes in the 2014 escalation, down from approximately 90,000 during the second half of 2015.”

OCHA revealed that the casualty toll has declined, noting, “As of December 27, 109 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during 2016 in attacks and clashes in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. This represents a drop down from 169 Palestinian and 25 Israeli fatalities recorded during 2015.”

OCHA also recorded “3,427 Palestinian and 205 Israeli injuries during the year .. compared with 15,477 and 304 injuries respectively in 2015.”

OCHA added that the access of the movement of people became more complicated. “The Israeli-controlled Erez crossing on Gaza’s northern border recorded a daily average of 531 exits of Palestinians during 2016 (until November 30), down from 602 daily exits in 2015 and the 26,000 daily exits before the Second Intifada started in September 2000.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.


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