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UN refugee agency condemns Israel’s latest punitive home demolitions

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has condemned the latest punitive home demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities in the early hours of Monday.

Israeli occupation forces injured a number of Palestinians with live fire during the raid on Qalandiya refugee camp.

According to the UNRWA statement, the first demolition to take place targeted the “home of UNRWA sanitation labourer, Yassin Yusuf Assaf and five members of his family.” Assaf’s son Issa was killed in December 2015 while carrying out a fatal stabbing attack outside Jaffa Gate.

The second demolition targeted the home of Mohammad Saleh Hussein Hammad Abu-Habsa, and was intended to be against the room inhabited by Anan Hammad Abu-Habsa, a second perpetrator of the aforementioned stabbing attack.

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said: “Punitive home demolitions are a form of collective punishment which are illegal under international law. They inflict distress and suffering on those who have not committed the action which led to the demolition and they often endanger people and property in the vicinity.”

Gunness added: “UNRWA condemns punitive demolitions and reminds Israel, the occupying power, that under international humanitarian law it has an obligation to protect the occupied people and provide services.”

Images courtesy of UNRWA.

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