B’Tselem: Sharp increase in home demolitions

Published today (updated) 22/06/2011 18:35

Members of the Younis family watch while their home is demolished in the West Bank village of Azzun Atma near Qalqiliua, January 11, 2011. [MaanImages/Khaleel Reash]

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — In the first six months of 2011, a report from the Israeli rights group B’Tselem said Wednesday, Israeli forces have demolished more homes than in the 12 months of the year before.

“Last week alone, 33 residential structures were demolished in the Jordan Valley and southern Hebron hills,” the report said, and cataloged the displacement of 706 individuals, including 341 minors.

The report noted that the figures released included only residential structures, and not the dozens of animal shelters, water wells, storage and business structures that were also forcibly taken down.

Most of the homes demolished, the report said, were in Area C, a zone declared under the Oslo Accords to be under Israeli military and civil control.

In 2010, it noted, Israel’s Civil Administration demolished 86 residential structures. In 2008, the figure was 28.

“Israel continues to control all aspects of Palestinian life in Area C, including planning and building. Yet few Civil Administration outline plans have been made for Palestinian communities, and they do not enable any construction or development beyond what already exists, making it impossible for Palestinians to build legally in these areas,” the report comments.

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