13. In 2006, UNRWA recorded a total of 233 Palestinian structures demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank. Of those, 115 were residential homes, 74 agricultural sites, 35 commercial stores and 9 public facilities. According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, 29,314 households currently live in Israeli-damaged homes, 28,997 in Gaza Strip and 317 in the West Bank.13
14. Nablus was the most affected area. On 26 August 2006, 19 houses were demolished by the Israeli authorities in Nablus city. A total of 23 commercial roadside structures, used by farmers to market their produce, were demolished in Bardala village and in Marj Na`ja in the Jordan Valley for alleged lack of permits. For the same reason, the Israeli army demolished 14 livestock barracks in Zbeidat, Khibat Atuf, Frush Beit Dajan, Jiftlik and Ash Shuna.
15. Confiscation orders continued to be issued by the Israeli authorities throughout 2006. According to UNRWA, land confiscation orders were issued for 3,845 dunums in the southern West Bank (in Al Khadr, Um Salmuna, Halhoul, Yatta, Ad Dahiriyah and Beit Ummar), 1,768 dunums in the northern West Bank (in Deir Ballut, Burgin, Hajjah, Faroun, Asira and Kufur Laqef) and 1,337 in the central West Bank (mostly in Anata and Bir Nabala).
16. During 2006, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality used its home-demolition budget of 4 million new Israeli sheqalim (NIS) to flatten 68 Palestinian homes. According to a report issued by the Land Research Center in February 2007, the Jerusalem municipality conducted 10 more forced evictions of Palestinian inhabitants predicated on the state of disrepair of their homes.14 In 2006, Palestinian inhabitants of occupied East Jerusalem lost 6,000 m2 of residential space. The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions reported that the municipality had also confiscated building machinery, especially cement mixers, forcing higher prices for building cement, and increased the rate of financial guarantees required for courts to suspend demolitions. Israeli authorities have given forewarnings of more demolitions of Palestinian homes in 2007.
17. From March 2006 to the end of January 2007, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army damaged 3,077 refugee shelters and demolished 210, affecting 3,356 families. This is a major deterioration from 2005, when 116 shelters were damaged and 37 were demolished.
18. The Gaza Strip also saw a vast increase in land levelling and excavating operations. At least 6,516 dunums of agricultural land were bulldozed in the Gaza Strip.
19. On 27 June 2006, the Israeli Air Force destroyed six transformers of the Gaza Strip’s only domestic power plant, which supplied 43 per cent of Gaza’s daily needs. Full electrical capacity has since been restored to Gaza by means of technical assistance from Egypt and financial support from Sweden.15
20. No quantification of the demolition and confiscation losses in the occupied Palestinian territory, including occupied East Jerusalem, currently exists. However, the direct damages from the military offensive by Israel from 26 June to 28 August 2006 were estimated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at US$ 46 million in the Gaza Strip alone.
21. In April 2006, the Israeli army narrowed the “safety zone” for artillery shelling, allowing targeting much closer to Palestinian homes and populated areas, which contributed substantially to the increase in the loss of life and property. The assault on Bayt Hanun confined 40,000 residents to their homes under curfew, as Israeli military operations resulted in the destruction of 279 homes, an 800-year-old mosque, public buildings, electricity networks, schools and hospitals, orchards, water and sanitation networks; paved roads were ripped up with specially designed back-hoes.16 UNDP estimated infrastructure damages at $2,372,970.