The Israeli authorities demolished around 97 homes and 86 facilities in the West Bank in February under the pretext of “illegal construction”, according to a statistical report released Thursday by the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ).
The Palestinian institute also said that demolition orders and orders to stop construction were issued to a further 139 houses and facilities.
An estimated 653 dunums of Palestinian land in various parts of the West Bank is also facing confiscation orders.
Ghassan Doughlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, has said there has been an escalation in the policy of demolishing homes and institutions in 2016.
In an interview with Quds Press, Doughlas stressed that the demolitions aim to displace Palestinians in order to “bring the settlers on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homes”.
“The occupation has used the demolition policy as a way to put pressure on the Palestinians so to empty the region classified as Area C in the West Bank,” adding that the demolitions are part of a policy of “collective punishment”.