West Bank demolitions and displacement: An Overview | October 2020

Situation Report
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• Removal of donor-funded network disrupts water supply to over 1,000 people in herding communities.

• Requisitioning of structures without prior notice continues.

• Freeze on the demolition of inhabited homes in East Jerusalem holds.

• Punitive sealing in Ya’bad village (Jenin) displaces a family of ten.


Latest development: On 3 November, the Israeli authorities demolished 83 structures in the Bedouin community of Humsa Al Bqai’a, in the northern Jordan Valley, displacing 73 people, including 41 children. This is the largest number of people displaced in a single incident since March 2016, and the largest number of structures demolished in a single incident since OCHA started monitoring demolitions in 2009.

In October, the Israeli authorities targeted 47 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 41 people and otherwise affecting the livelihoods or access to services of over 1,200 others. All structures, except for one sealed on punitive grounds, were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.
This month witnessed 16 consecutive days in which no demolition or seizure was recorded, resulting in a 24 per cent decline in the number of affected structures, compared with the monthly average in 2020 (62).

Of the structures targeted in October, twelve had been provided as humanitarian aid, for a total cost of nearly 25,000 euros. A donor-funded water cistern serving a school in Ramallah was issued a demolition order.

Three of this month’s incidents occurred in the Massafer Yatta area of Hebron, which is declared closed for Israeli military training (‘Firing Zone 918’). The Israeli authorities have been seeking for years to evict the 1,400 Palestinians residing in 14 herding communities in this area, on the grounds that they are residing illegally in a closed military area.

In one of these incidents, on 28 October, the Israeli authorities removed part of a donor-funded network supplying water to eight communities in Massafer Yatta. The demolition resulted in a complete disruption of water distribution to over 1,000 people, including 630 children. As a result, these communities have had to rely exclusively on the delivery of tankered water, at a cost of about NIS 40 (10 euros) per cubic metre compared to NIS 6 (1,5 euros) they paid for the piped water.

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