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."
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."