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Israeli authorities demolish property throughout Palestine

Two Palestinenan boys look down over their demolished housing complex Two Palestinenan boys look down over their demolished housing complex Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency8

11 September 2020

There has been a rise in illegal demolitions during Covid-19 in the West Bank perpetrated by Israeli military forces

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there has been a terrible spike in the number of registered evictions and demolitions on Palestinian-owned properties since the beginning of the pandemic. When Israel imposed restrictions to contain the COVID-19, government officials dictated that they would completely halt the pursuit of their Palestinian property demolishment policy. They mentioned that it would be unethical to continue that strategy amidst a rise in viral propagation. 

Unfortunately, it is quite clear that Israel has not kept its words at all. As a matter of fact, the OCHA’s Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, has stated that between March and August of 2020, there have been a total of 389 registered demolitions, on average, 65 demolitions per month, amounting to the highest destruction total in the last four years. This unlawful strategy has inflicted a terrible amount of distress, pain, and danger to the Palestinian people. 442 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes and forced to seek refuge elsewhere. This vast displacement is also exposing them to the Covid-19 virus.

Israel is inevitably violating the International Humanitarian Law, because it is targeting properties that provide food, shelter, and health services to all Palestinians. Furthermore, Israeli authorities keep making it impossible for Palestinians to dispute their demolishing decrees, since Israeli building permits are written with restrictive and discriminatory guidelines that make it virtually impossible for Palestinians to uphold.  These actions create an immeasurable amount of risks to vulnerable families within the West Bank. Also, it is imperative to call Israel’s actions for what they are: human rights violations. Jaime McGoldrick has condemned these actions and is urging Israeli authorities to halt their demolishing strategy in the name of protecting human rights. 


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Author: Sergio Gomez

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