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West Bank demolitions and displacement: An Overview | October 2021

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Highlights

• After an over four-year low in September, demolitions resumed in October, albeit at a rate below this year’s monthly average.

• Some 20 per cent more structures have been demolished or seized in the first ten months of 2021 compared with the equivalent period in 2020; with almost 25 per cent more people were displaced.

• Two EU-funded structures were demolished this month, and five others are at risk of demolition.

In October, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 43 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Thisresulted in the displacement of eight people, and affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of about 2,000 others. All the structures were targeted due to the lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Area C and East Jerusalem.

The number of structures demolished or seized, and people displaced in October remains one of the lowest recorded months since the beginning of the year. So far in 2021, the number of structures demolished or seized and people displaced has recorded an increase of 19 and 23 per cent, respectively, compared with the equivalent period in 2020. Also this year, 328 structures, or 56 per cent of all structures targeted in Area C, have been seized without, or with very short, prior notice, utilizing various military orders, effectively preventing people from objecting in advance.

Two structures funded by the EU or its member states were demolished or seized in October, both in Area C. These included a water network in the Massafer Yatta area, which destruction resulted in cutting off access to piped water for over 1,100 people. The other structure is part of a school providing education to around 50 students from five Bedouin communities in the Jorday Valley. Five other EU-funded structures, at a value of about 9,700 Euros, received warning or stop-work orders. Additionally, dozens of trees and saplings provided by the EU, were reportedly vandalized by settlers, ahead of the olive harvest season.

Also in Area C, two agricultural roads were demolished, which undermined the access of 470 people, including farmers and their families, to their land, in Tayasir (Jordan Valley) and in Ya’bad (Jenin). Five of the total structures were demolished on the basis of Military Order 1797, providing a 96-hour notice only and very limited grounds, for legally challenging a demolition.

Twelve structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, of which nine were demolished by their owners, including a house in the Wadi al Joz neighbourhood, displacing a family of four. Since the beginning of the year in East Jerusalem, 77 structures have been demolished by their owners.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.