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Israel demolished 729 Palestinian homes, structures in 2020: Report

An Israeli bulldozer demolishes Palestinian houses near al-Arub camp, on the outskirts of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, on November 19, 2019 under the pretext that they were built without Israeli authorization in the so-called Area C. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities demolished 729 Palestinian buildings and structures in 2020 under the pretext of lacking construction permits in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli human rights group says.

In a report on Monday, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem said that the Tel Aviv regime had “displaced by its policies 1,006 Palestinians, including 519 minors, after the demolition of 273 homes.”

The report added that the Israeli authorities had also “demolished 456 structures for non-residential purposes, including vital humanitarian facilities and installations such as water and electricity networks.”

Israeli authorities usually demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain. They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality if they do not.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.


Elsewhere in the report, B'Tselem said that at least 27 Palestinians, including seven minors, had been killed by Israeli soldiers in 2020.

“B'Tselem investigated 16 cases of killing Palestinians in the West Bank, and it was found that at least 11 of them were killed without any justification, as none of them posed a threat to the lives of security force members or others, whether at the time of shooting at them or in general,” the NGO added.

The rights group further reported that it had documented 248 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank last year, ranging from physical assaults and throwing stones at Palestinian homes, to targeting farmers or their properties.

B'Tselem added that the occupying regime also raided Palestinian villages and towns “at least 3,000 times and stormed no less than 2,480 homes.”

It went on to say that Israeli security forces also detained at least 2,785 Palestinians last year.

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