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UN official calls on Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian property, land grab policy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A building that belonged to Palestinian Montasser Shalabi is imploded in the course of its demolition by Israeli forces in the village of Turmus'ayya near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on July 8, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations has called on Israel to halt demolition of Palestinian homes and confiscation of their land across the occupied territories.

Farhan Haq, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, called on Israel to halt demolishing Palestinian homes and confiscating Palestinian land across the occupied territories.

“Our humanitarian colleagues in the occupied Palestinian territory tell us that on Wednesday, in the community of Ras al-Tin in Ramallah governorate, 84 Palestinians lost their homes when Israeli forces confiscated at least 49 structures,” Haq said in a recent briefing.

The UN spokesman noted that Palestinians use the area in the summer as a grazing land “but are now at heightened risk of forcible transfer from the area.”

Haq also pointed out that the Israeli forces “dismantled and confiscated a residential structure [Thursday] in Humsa Al Baqi’in the northern Jordan Valley.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the UN official demanded that Israel stop its violations “and adhere to its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law.”

Throughout the years, Israel has frequently demolished Palestinian homes, claiming that the structures have been built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Tel Aviv regime even orders the Palestinian owners to tear down their own homes or pay the demolition costs to the municipality.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says Israeli authorities either demolish or seize Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds, a trend which has led to the displacement of a large number of Palestinian in recent months

According to the OCHA, Israeli forces demolished at least 421 Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied West Bank so far this year.

Many structures have been targeted in Area C, which accounts for more than 60 percent of area in the West Bank, and forms a significant part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution.

Area C is currently home to 300,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are Bedouins and herding communities.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said Friday that the international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council, must uphold their responsibilities and stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds and the rest of Palestine.

According to the ministry, Israeli troops and armed settlers often carry out joint attacks on the Palestinian people with the “approval and support of the Israeli political level.”

At the same time, Israel has expanded its settlements in the occupied territories.

The demolitions and evictions carried out by Israeli authorities are seen as part of efforts to forcibly displace the Palestinians and change the demographic character of the occupied territories.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the 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.


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