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Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
21 June 2006

West Bank Wall main cause of new displacement amid worsening humanitarian situation

Since 2005, internal displacement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has largely been the result of house demolitions and land confiscation by the government of Israel in connection with the construction of the West Bank Wall. While displacement is ongoing, the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Territories has gravely deteriorated following sanctions taken by the Government of Israel and major donors against the new Palestinian Government.

Since Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 1967, the Israeli government has ordered the demolition of thousands of homes in the Territories and has confiscated land, for example in East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli government, these measures have been taken for security and administrative reasons and to deter or prevent militants from suicide-bombings and other terrorist attacks on Israel. According to many international organisations and UN human rights bodies, however, Israel’s policy of house demolitions and land confiscation in the Occupied Territories violates international humanitarian and human rights law, including protection against arbitrary displacement. There are no reliable figures on the number of people displaced in this way, but estimates run into the tens of thousands over the past few decades. Whereas house demolitions in the course of military incursions or so-called “clearing operations” constituted the primary source of internal displacement in 2003 and 2004 in the Occupied Territories, the construction of the West Bank Wall and its associated regime have now become the major cause of forced displacement.

Full report (pdf* format - 259 KB)

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), is the leading international body monitoring conflict-induced internal displacement worldwide.

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