Senior UN relief official concerned as Israeli demolitions displace dozens of Palestinians

Demolished Palestinian structure in the West Bank (2012). Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold (file photo)

11 December 2013 – A senior United Nations humanitarian official today voiced concern as Israeli demolitions in the Jordan Valley resulted in the displacement of 41 people, including 24 children, some of whom were uprooted for the second time this month.

“I am concerned about the destruction of Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley yesterday, resulting in the forced eviction, displacement and dispossession of vulnerable Palestinians. Such actions cause human suffering. They also run counter to international law,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, James W. Rawley.

Both refugee and non-refugee families were affected by the demolition of 30 Palestinian-owned structures, according to a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Some of the families were displaced for the second time this month and a number of donor-funded structures were among those demolished.

“These demolitions are particularly disturbing as they leave families without shelter and compromise their livelihoods just as weather conditions are deteriorating. These demolitions must be brought to an immediate halt,” stressed Mr. Rawley, who is also Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Since the beginning of the year, over 630 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in Area C – which represents over 60 per cent of the West Bank where Israel retains control over security, planning and building – and East Jerusalem, forcibly displacing 1,035 Palestinians, including 526 children.

Seventy per cent of demolitions in Area C and nearly 80 per cent of the related displacement has occurred in Jordan Valley communities.


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