Israeli authorities have demolished or seized some $1.5 million worth of European Union-donated structures in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) since 2014.
The figures are included in a newly-published, six-month report by the Office of the European Union Representative in the oPt, covering developments March-August 2017.
During the reporting period, occupied East Jerusalem saw a high number of demolitions, while there was a reduction in Area C of the West Bank (compared to 2016’s unusually high figures).
According to a summary of the report, over 150 Palestinian owned structures were impacted by demolition, seizure, sealing off, or eviction throughout the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem. Almost 60 per cent of the incidents took place in East Jerusalem.
“This brings the total number of affected structures since the beginning of 2017 to 330, resulting in the displacement of over 500 Palestinians including 290 children,” the summary states.
Since the beginning of 2017, Israeli occupation authorities have targeted 72 EU-funded structures, representing 22 per cent of all affected Palestinian-owned structures (up from 17 per cent in 2016).
The EU report notes that an estimated number of 12,500 Palestinian structures in Area C currently have outstanding demolition orders issued by the Israeli Civil Administration due to lack of required building permits. These pending demolition orders “could be implemented at any moment”.
According to the EU officials, between 2014 to mid-2016, only one per cent of the building permits requested by Palestinians in Area C were granted (16 permits granted from 1,253 applications).
Moreover, between 2010-2015 only some eight per cent of all building permits in Jerusalem were given in Palestinian neighbourhoods (714 out of 9,106 permits issued).