A research centre affiliated to the PLO has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 478 Palestinian buildings and other facilities during 2015. The demolitions occurred across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported on Tuesday.
Abdullah Al-Horani Centre for Research and Documentation said that there were 247 houses among the facilities destroyed by Israel.
“The Israeli authorities destroy the houses under different pretexts,” explained international lawyer Hanna Issa. “These include security reasons, a lack of building licences, being built near the settlements or across the settlement roads, being built on state lands or being built on green areas.”
According to the report, Israel’s policy of destroying houses as well as commercial, agricultural and industrial facilities, uprooting citizens from their homes and destroying farms is regarded as the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians from their land in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The policy is being used as collective punishment during the current popular uprising.
“Destroying homes is an old/new Israeli policy that is used to empty Palestinian lands of Palestinians and replace them with [illegal Jewish] settlers,” the report noted. The most affected areas are places of strategic importance, such as occupied Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.