oPt

West Bank demolitions and displacement: An Overview | January 2022

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HIGHLIGHTS

• There was a 27 per cent decrease in the targeting of structures during January, compared with the monthly average in 2021.

• 19 donor-funded structures were demolished or confiscated in January compared to a monthly average of 18 donorfunded structures in 2021.

• Four other EU-funded structures, including a school, were placed under threat of demolition.

• An extended Palestinian family, comprising 12 people, including two children, were forcibly evicted from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem, and their house was demolished by the Israeli authorities.

OVERVIEW

In January, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 59 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
This resulted in the displacement of 106 people, including 47 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of over 170 others. All the structures were located in Area C or East Jerusalem and were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. January’s total demolitions/seizures represent a 28 per cent decrease compared with the monthly average in 2021.

Seventeen structures funded by the EU or its member states were demolished or seized in January, all located in Area C communities, for a total value of more than 33,200 euros. Another four structures funded by the EU or its member states, at a value of more than 50,200 euros, were placed under threat of demolition, including a school in Ein Samiya and three residential structures in Deir Nidham (both in Ramallah)
Eleven of the 19 Donor-funded structures targeted in January were in herder communities located in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as a ‘firing zone’ for military training. Nearly 30 per cent of Area C is designated as ‘firing zones’ and the 38 Palestinian communities in these zones are among the most vulnerable in the West Bank, with limited access to education and health services, and water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructure.

In Khirbet al Fakheit community in Massafer Yatta (Hebron), the Israeli authorities demolished eight structures, five of which, including three residential shelters, had been provided as humanitarian assistance by the EU or its member states in response to previous demolitions. As a result, 19 people, including eleven children, were displaced. In the herding community of Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities demolished twelve structures, six of which, including three residential and three animal shelters, had been provided as humanitarian assistance by the EU or its member states in response to previous demolitions.Three households, comprising 16 people including five children, were displaced for the second time in a week.

On 5 January, in two separate incidents, the Israeli authorities seized an agricultural structure in the Az Za’ayyem Bedouin community, and one animal shelter in the Az Za’ayyem Az Zaatreh herder community. These communities are located in an area planned for a major expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement (the ‘E1’ Plan), and are at risk of forcible transfer due to a ‘relocation’ plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. According to the affected families, the Israeli authorities provided no prior written or verbal notice about their intention to seize or demolish the structures. Both structures had been provided as humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions.

Four of the 40 structures targeted in January were seized without prior warning in Area C, a procedure preventing the people affected from objecting in advance. This represents a significant decrease in the use of this procedure compared with the 53 per cent recorded in all of 2021.

Also in Area C, in four separate incidents in Tatrit (Hebron), Qalqiliya city, Al ‘Aqaba (Tubas), and Haris (Salfit) communities, the Israeli authorities demolished five structures, displacing one household, comprising seven people, including five children and affecting 22 other people. These demolitions took place on the basis of Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition. Since coming into effect in July 2019, 174 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished based on this order.

Fifteen structures, including eight homes were demolished in East Jerusalem: eight were demolished by the Jerusalem Municipality and seven by the owners themselves, following the issuance of demolition orders. In one of the incidents, on 25 January, the Jerusalem Municipality along with Israeli forces, demolished a home in At Tur, displacing two households comprising nine people, including five children, and affecting another household of five people. The households had been paying fines as a penalty for lacking Israeli-issued building permits.
Also, in East Jerusalem, in the early hours of 19 January, Israeli forces forcibly evicted an extended family, comprising 12 people, including two children, from their home in Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem, and demolished the house.

The operation started on 17 January, when Israeli forces demolished three commercial structures which the family owned, affecting the livelihood of 23 people. According to the Jerusalem Municipality, the land has been allocated for the construction of a school for children with disabilities. About 20 people were arrested during the operation, including family members and activists. Concerns have been raised by Member States at the UN Security Council regarding the physical measures used by Israeli forces during the operation.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.