Israel Demolished 54 Palestinian Structures, Killed 10 People in July

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory reported that Israel demolished, confiscated, or forced Palestinians to demolish 54 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank in July, displacing 66 people and affecting the livelihoods of nearly 800 others. The report also documented the killing of 10 Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces and the injury of 352 others in various incidents.

According to the report, which covers the period between 5 and 24 July, most of the demolished structures, 43, were located in Area C, where Israel retains full control over planning and zoning. The structures included 20 homes, 16 of which were provided by donors in response to previous demolitions. The report said that Israel justified the demolitions by citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain for Palestinians.

In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 11 structures, including nine homes, resulting in the displacement of five households. Eight of these structures were destroyed by their owners to avoid paying fines to the Israeli authorities. The report also highlighted the case of an elderly Palestinian couple who were forcibly evicted from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem after Israeli courts terminated their protected tenancy. Their home was immediately handed over to Israeli settlers.

The report also noted that eight Palestinian households were displaced from their communities in Jerusalem governorate and the South Hebron hills due to increased settlement activities and settler violence. About 300 people were displaced from these areas between 2022 and 2023, citing loss of access to grazing land as the main reason.

In addition to the demolitions, evictions and forcible displacement, OCHA said that Israeli forces shot and killed 10 Palestinians, including children, between 4 and 27 July in separate incidents in Nablus, Qalqilya, and Ramallah areas. The report said that some of these incidents involved alleged attacks or attempted attacks by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers or settlers.

The report also recorded 352 injuries among Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces across the West Bank, including 26 by live ammunition. Most of the injuries occurred during clashes that erupted during protests, search and arrest operations, or near checkpoints. Sixteen Palestinians, including two children, were injured by Israeli settlers, who also damaged Palestinian property in another 44 instances across the West Bank.

The OCHA report came amid Israel’s ongoing expansion of its settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law and considered an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. The Israeli government has approved plans for thousands of new housing units in the settlements and given more powers to the finance minister to expedite the construction. The settler population has grown to nearly 700,000 and has been denounced by Palestinian officials and human rights experts.

The UN has repeatedly stated Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are a flagrant violation under international law. The International Court of Justice found the settlements to be illegal in its 2004 advisory opinion on the West Bank barrier. The International Criminal Court has also announced an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied territories, including its settlement policy.

The OCHA report urged Israel to cease its settlement expansion and remove all existing settlements from occupied Palestinian territory. It also called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law and ensure accountability for violations against Palestinians.

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