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OCHA: Israel demolished, seized 617 Palestinian structures in 2019

last update : 30/12/2019 - 02:28 AM ( Since 3 weeks )

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that the Israeli occupation authorities demolished or seized 617 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, displacing 898 Palestinians.

OCHA said that the new figures represent a noticeable increase compared to those documented in 2018.

Over 20% of all structures targeted in 2019 and some 40% of all donor-funded aid structures were located in firing zones, which cover about 30% of Area C, it added.

In a newly released report covering the period 10-23 December, OCHA mentioned that the Israeli occupation authorities, over the alleged lack of building permits, demolished or forced people to demolish 29 structures in Area C and East Jerusalem the past two weeks, displacing 45 Palestinians and affecting over 100 others.

Twelve of the structures targeted, including five previously provided as humanitarian assistance, were in three herding communities located in areas designated as firing zones for military training in the Tubas, Nablus and Jericho governorates.

During one of the demolitions in a firing zone east of Nablus, Israeli occupation forces uprooted or cut about 2,500 forest trees and saplings, according to OCHA's report.

The trees were part of a recreational area (also described by Palestinians as a 'nature reserve') serving some 14,000 residents in the nearby town of Beit Furik and the Khirbet Tana herding community.

During the same reported period, some 80 Palestinian farmers from three villages in Salfit governorate lost access to their land behind the West Bank apartheid wall after the Israeli occupation authorities confiscated their entry permits.

Over the past two weeks, a total of 129 Palestinians, including 44 children, were injured by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return demonstrations near the fence between Gaza and the 1948 territories.

OCHA pointed out that an 18-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces on 17 December east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza, while approaching the fence. His body was withheld by Israeli authorities.

On at least 15 other occasions, Israeli forces opened fire in areas adjacent to the border fence while enforcing access restrictions; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces carried out one incursion and land-levelling operation near the fence. Four Palestinians, including three children, were arrested in two separate incidents.

In the West Bank, 14 Palestinians, including at least three children, were injured by Israeli forces in several incidents. A total of 154 search and arrest operations were carried out across the West Bank. At least 146 Palestinians were arrested, 17 of whom were children.

As for settler assaults, four Palestinians were injured, and some 330 olive trees and seven vehicles were damaged in eight attacks by Israeli settlers in the West Bank in the past two weeks.

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