Since the beginning of November, Israeli authorities demolished at least 19 Palestinian structures in different parts of the West Bank. In total, since the beginning of the year 569 Palestinian civilian structures have been demolished, resulting in the displacement of 827 people (more than half of them children) and otherwise affecting over 3,800.
Demolished building in the Jerusalem-area town of Anata (Photo: ICAHD)
Since the beginning of November, Israeli authorities demolished at least 19 Palestinian structures in different parts of the West Bank. This included four residential structures, resulting in the displacement of eight people, including six children. In addition, over 90 people, roughly half of them children, were affected by demolitions of other types of structures, including animal shelters and water cisterns. Two structures were also demolished by their Palestinian owners in East Jerusalem, in the hope of avoiding further fines. Most of the demolitions took place in vulnerable communities in Area C during the first half of the month, i.e. from 1-12 November. No demolitions took place during the escalation in hostilities in Gaza from 14-21 November. However, demolitions in Area C started again on Tuesday 28 November, when Israeli authorities demolished two water cisterns and a livelihood-structure in the Palestinian village of Beit Ula, west of Hebron. Around 50 dunams of agricultural land were also levelled.
In total, since the beginning of the year 569 Palestinian civilian structures have been demolished, resulting in the displacement of 827 people (more than half of them children) and otherwise affecting over 3,800.
Displacement of the Al Khalayla Bedouin Community
In November, 7 Palestinian refugee families (58 people, including 35 children) living close to Al Khalayleh (close to Al Jib village outside of Jerusalem) packed their possessions and left the area due to the constant threat of repeated demolitions. Three of the families, who left in early November, moved to Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, while the remaining four, who left on 16 November, planned to try to move to Nablus governorate. The families, who come from the Bua'aran sub-tribe of the Jahalin Bedouins, are all refugees from the An Naqab/Negev, in what is now in Israel.
They have lived in the area around Jerusalem, alternating between Al Khalayleh and the Khan al Ahmar area, for the last decades, but have suffered due to a lack of a sustainable solution, repeated demolitions and increasing restrictions on their livelihood at the hands of Israeli authorities. This has included three separate demolition incidents, i.e. in October and December 2011 and again (twice) in April 2012. In two of the cases, emergency assistance that had been provided to the families by the humanitarian community, including basic tents and shelter materials, were either destroyed or confiscated by the Israeli authorities. The families also reported not having used some of the emergency assistance provided, out of fear it might be destroyed or confiscated. UNRWA and partners will be following up with the families to assess their situation further. However, this case highlights the threat of silent displacement taking place due to the threat of demolitions and displacement facing many Palestinian communities in Area C.