Statement on the increase in house demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem
by Mr Maxwell Gaylard, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator
for the occupied Palestinian territory
22 nd December 2010
Earlier today Maxwell Gaylard, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, visited the site of a Palestinian home which had been demolished just twenty four hours earlier, following an order by the relevant authorities of the Government of Israel.
Mr Gaylard visited and spoke with the families affected in the Ras Al Amud neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. This particular demolition resulted in the displacement of thirteen people, all registered refugees, including four children.
In a statement Mr Gaylard said, "the destruction of this home and the displacement of these people raises serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law.”
Along with this incident in Ras Al Amud there have been two further demolitions, in Sur Baher in East Jerusalem, and the village of Nu'man near Jerusalem. These incidents are a manifestation of the increase in such demolitions in 2010, during which 396 Palestinian structures were demolished in East Jerusalem and other areas under full Israeli control in the West Bank. This compares to 275 in the previous year – an increase of almost 45 %. As a result this year, 561 people have been displaced, including 280 children, and the livelihoods of over 3,000 people have also been affected.
“These actions have a severe social and economic impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinians and increase their dependence on humanitarian assistance. The position of the United Nations remains that the Government of Israel must take immediate steps to cease demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Mr. Gaylard said.
For further details please contact:
Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
Public Information and Media Unit