HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES

THURSDAY, 8 JULY 2021

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WEST BANK
Lastly, I was asked about the recent demolition of Palestinian housing.

I just want to update that, yesterday, in the Jordan Valley, representatives from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), non-governmental organizations and Member States sought to gain access to the community of Humsa Al-Baqi’a, but were refused access by the military while the demolitions were taking place. As of noon today, no assistance had been allowed in and an OCHA team that had entered the community was requested to leave the site by Israeli forces.

The Secretary-General is, indeed, very deeply concerned by yesterday’s demolition of Palestinian property in the Bedouin community of Humsa Al-Baqi’a, in Area C of the occupied West Bank. He reiterates his call on the Israeli authorities to cease demolitions and seizures of Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank.

Such actions are contrary to international law and could undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.

Questions and Answers

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Question:  Okay.  On the last item you read on the demolitions, you said the Secretary-General was deeply concerned, but what does he make of the fact that OCHA representatives were not allowed to attend and then were told to leave?  Does he think that is acceptable?

Spokesman:  No, I mean, we need to have the access in order to provide humanitarian assistance and to assess the situation as needed.

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For information media. Not an official record.