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Israel speeds up demolition of Palestinian property

Twenty-five aid organisations working in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem warned on Friday that Israel's demolition of Palestinian properties has increased sharply since the resumption of the peace talks last July. In a statement by the NGOs, including Oxfam and Christian Aid, they said that the demolition of Palestinian properties has increased by 75 per cent since July compared with the same period in 2012.

The organisations added that 663 Palestinian-owned buildings, including 122 built with financial support from international donors, were destroyed last year. They pointed out that this is the highest for five years.

According to the statement, local and international aid organisations faced increasingly severe restrictions on getting aid to Palestinians affected by the "illegal" demolitions. They called this a violation of Israel's obligation to respect the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that it would stop handing tents out to Palestinians who lose their homes in the border areas between the occupied West Bank and Jordan because Israel hinders the delivery of aid so much. "The Israelis sometimes confiscate the tents and aid," the committee claimed.

Israeli occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. It withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005 but has maintained a strict blockade on the territory, which is still regarded in law as being occupied. Palestinians demand that Israel should evacuate around 500,000 illegal settlers living in the West Bank, as well as its army.

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