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UN: Israel demolishes 56 Palestinian structures in West Bank

The destruction left behind by the occupying Israeli army after blowing up two Palestinian homes in Balata Refugee Camp, north of the occupied West Bank, this week.

Israel has demolished or seized 56 Palestinian-owned structures, including six homes, in the occupied al-Quds and Area C of the West Bank in just two weeks.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said this week that the demolitions and seizures took place between July 25 and August 7 under the pretext of lacking construction permits which are almost impossible to obtain.

In its report, the body said the demolitions have displaced over 20 Palestinians, most of them children, and affected the livelihoods of some 3,500 others.

“Six of the affected structures were provided by donors in response to a previous demolition in Az Za’ayyem Bedouin community in the Jerusalem governorate, during which a total of 35 structures were demolished in a single incident,” the report said.

“Fifty-three of the affected structures were demolished in Area C, including the infrastructure of a public park serving the community of Al Mughayyir (Ramallah). The remaining three structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, resulting in the displacement of four households, comprising 16 people, including seven children,” it added.  

“All of the demolished structures in East Jerusalem were destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities,” the report stated.

More than 700,000 Israelis live in about 280 settlements built across the occupied West Bank since Tel Aviv's occupation of the territory in 1967.

The international community regards the settlements as illegal under international law and the Geneva Conventions given that they have been constructed on occupied land.

Israeli forces have killed 167 Palestinians in the West Bank so far this year which exceeds the total number recorded last year.

This makes 2023 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.

The UN says Israeli settlers have also killed seven Palestinians this year.

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