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Israel issued over 2k demolition orders in West Bank in 2.5 yrs: Official data

A Palestinian woman searches through her belongings after her family home was demolished by Israeli forces in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem al-Quds near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo (background) on October 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Newly released figures show that the Israeli regime issued a total of 2,141 demolition orders for Palestinian structures built in the largest division of the occupied West Bank in two and a half years.

Israeli’s Civil Administration published the figures on Tuesday at the request of the Israeli NGO, Bimkom.

According to the data, 832 demolition orders were issued in 2014, 875 in 2015, and 434 through June of this year in Area C of the West Bank, which constitutes about 61 percent of the territory and is under full Israeli military control.

The 2,141 demolition orders were almost 18 times more than the total number of Palestinian structures permitted to be built in Area C.

Over the two-and-a-half year period, Palestinians requested 1,253 building permits in the same region, but only 53 of the requests were approved by the Tel Aviv regime.

“These demolitions can affect tens of thousands of people,” said Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, Bimkom’s Area C coordinator, adding, “Two thousand orders can be relevant to 3,000 structures, and each structure can house between four and 15 people.”

A Palestinian girl photographs the rubble of a house that was demolished by Israeli army bulldozers in the West Bank village of Qalandiya on July 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Earlier this month, the European Union condemned the Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied territories, saying the regime’s 2016 demolitions have left more than one thousand Palestinians homeless.

International bodies and rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes are an attempt to uproot Palestinians from their native territories, and confiscate more land for the expansion of illegal settlements.

Over half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council passed a landmark resolution that called Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds a “flagrant violation of international law.”

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