The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, has revealed that the Israeli authorities have demolished a number of buildings in six populated districts in Area C, east of Jerusalem in the E1 settlement zone and the surrounding region. The demolitions took place on May 19.
According to OCHA, the affected communities are in Nakhila, al-Kassarah, al-Khan al-Ahmar, Makab al-Samen, Mount Pope and Bethany.
Palestine online news site reported a press release issued by the UN which said that 13 structures were destroyed under the pretext of having no building permits. The Israeli action has led directly to the displacement of 37 people, including 23 children, and disrupted the lives of 50 others in one way or another.
The targeted structures included four residential buildings, an outdoor kitchen, an animal feed storage unit, a tent, three portable toilets and three animal shelters. Four of these structures were funded by donor organisations.
"The region which includes 18 localities and hosts 2,800 people has been identified as a priority region to implement an official Israeli scheme to deport most of the communities across area C and limit them in certain sites," said OCHA. "The emptied area will be used to expand Israeli settlements including the E1 zone. It is planned that the wall surrounding Maale Adumim settlement bloc will surround this region."
E1 project is "East 1", one of the largest settlement projects in the West Bank which, if implemented fully will divide the West Bank into two parts and isolate East Jerusalem from the West Bank permanently.
OCHA said that during last week the Israeli authorities have demolished and confiscated three housing tents funded by donors and a cement mixer near Nablus, which led to the displacement of 27 people, including 18 children, for the third time in three weeks.