Statement by the Spokesperson on the resurgence of demolitions in Area C of the West Bank

The regrettable significant increase of demolitions of Palestinian structures by the Israeli authorities in 2016 appears to be continuing following the end of Ramadan. Since then, 107 Palestinian structures have been demolished, displacing 136 people, including 60 children.

On 2 August, the EU-funded structures in the community of Um al-Kheir were destroyed by the Israeli authorities, leaving four families homeless. Bedouin communities in the West Bank have faced repeated confiscations and demolitions in recent years, which have put them in grave humanitarian need and risk ending in forced transfers.

The Israeli authorities must halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and property, in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use and of denying Palestinian development.

As stated in the recent Quartet report, such a policy, including the recent high rate of demolitions, is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution and raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.