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Israel demolished 295 Palestinian residential structures in 2021

January 4, 2022 at 8:52 pm

Palestinian residents react as their house, located in Area C, is demolished by Israeli forces allegedly for being “unlicensed”, in Hebron, West Bank on December 28, 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation demolished 295 Palestinian residential structures in occupied territories in 2021, leaving 895 Palestinians, 463 of them minors, homeless, Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, reported on Tuesday.

According to a report issued by B’Tselem, the demolition of Palestinian homes carried out by the Israeli occupation in 2021 was the highest number since 2016.

“Throughout the year, another 548 non-residential structures were demolished on Israeli authorities’ orders, including cisterns, warehouses, agricultural structures, businesses, and public structures – the highest number since 2012,” B’Tselem said.

The Israeli rights group added: “In East Jerusalem alone, 160 structures were demolished, 96 of which were homes.”

It continued: “In the West Bank, recent years have seen a steady increase in home demolitions: in 2021, Israeli forces demolished 199 structures, as opposed to 151 residential structures in 2020 and 104 in 2019.”

READ: Israel demolishes 10 Palestinian commercial properties in Jerusalem

B’Tselem denied the Israeli claims that these demolitions were carried out as a matter of “law enforcement,” pointing out that the “Palestinians who build without permits are not “criminals.”

However, the rights group said: “The Israeli apartheid regime blocks almost all Palestinian development in vast parts of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – while building massively for Jews.

“This policy leaves Palestinians no choice but to build without permits, so as to have a roof over their heads. At that point, the Israeli authorities issue the structures demolition orders.”