oPt

Israeli army partially demolishes a school in the West Bank for the first time in 2021 – November 2021

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News and Press Release
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Originally published

Attachments

On 25 October 2021, Israeli forces partially demolished a donor-funded school in the Palestinian community of Hammamat Al Maleh, Tubas.

Context

Area C, where the Hammamat Al Maleh school is located, comprises over 60 percent of the West Bank. Israel holds full control over Area C, including over law enforcement, planning and construction. The legal framework in Area C makes Palestinian construction on 70 percent of the land extremely difficult. The remaining 30 percent of land requires a construction permit issued by the Secondary Planning Committee, which is part of the Israeli Civil Administration. The application process for a construction permit has a very low success rate.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the rate of demolitions and displacement of Palestinians hit a four-year-high in 2020 making it the worst year since 2016 for displaced Palestinian children in the West Bank. In 2020, over 840 structures in the West Bank were demolished or seized by Israeli authorities forcing at least 518 children and their families from their homes. This concerning escalation looks set to continue as since the beginning of 2021, Israeli forces have already demolished a total of 707 structures, forcibly transferring 964 Palestinians. Between 13 June and 26 October 2021, 341 Palestinian structures have been destroyed in the West Bank, constituting an 18 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020, with a 50 percent increase in the number of donor-funded structures targeted.