The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), comprising of 11 Palestinian human rights organizations, submitted today a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures focusing on Israel’s continued demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories amidst the pandemic and calling for protecting the Palestinian population.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) January 23, 2021
Addressing five UN Special Rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, the organizations highlighted Israel’s continued utilization of Military Order 1797 during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
In the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the organizations, adequate housing is considered to be “the front line in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, as demonstrated by stay-at-home and lockdown orders,” as highlighted by Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) January 24, 2021
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, human rights organizations have noticed a significant increase in demolitions carried out under the auspices of Military Order 1797, which allows the demolition of ‘unlicensed’ structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
While human rights organizations have previously condemned Military Order 1797 for its violation of international law and warned about its aftermath on the Palestinian protected population, the joint urgent appeal stressed that this issue is of an even more pressing concern during the period of closure, since residents cannot obtain the documents necessary to legally challenge the demolition orders and to file appeals or objections.
(WAFA, PC, Social Media)