The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced on Sunday that the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes constitutes a war crime based on the International Criminal Court (ICC), Safa Press agency reported on Sunday.
In a statement, the PA's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates reiterated that Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes contradicts the Israeli responsibility for the lives and safety of Palestinians.
The statement revealed that the occupying power, as stipulated by international law, is responsible for the safety and lives of the occupied people. The statement stressed that Israel is aware of its obligation under the international law.
Referring to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (UN OCHA) report, the statement disclosed that the Israeli occupation demolished or confiscated 617 Palestinian structures, mainly homes, in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem during 2019, resulting in the displacement of 898 Palestinians.
The UN OCHA revealed that the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes increased in 2019 by 35 per cent, when compared with 2018.
According to the statement, the Israeli occupation always raise the pretext of building without licenses when it demolishes Palestinian homes.
However, the statement added, the Israeli occupation has demolished licensed homes tens of times, citing the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Al-Hummus, where all the demolished homes had building licenses.
The PA noted in the statement that even the lack of licenses resulted in the strict, "illogical" and "implacable" Israeli conditions imposed on the Palestinians wanting to build or expand their homes.