11:12 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Over 13,000 Palestinian homes to be demolished by Israel: UN

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The United Nations says some 13,000 Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank are currently under Israeli demolition orders.

In a Monday report titled “Under Threat”, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the orders “leave affected households in a state of chronic uncertainty and threat.”

It also warns that the destruction of Palestinian homes leads to “displacement and disruption of livelihoods” among other things.

Tel Aviv claims the structures are demolished because they were built without construction permits, but Palestinians argue such authorizations are routinely denied.

Citing data from the relevant Israeli officials, the UN report said that between 1988 and 2014, Israel issued more than 14,000 demolition orders against Palestinian-owned structures.

According to the UN, Israel ordered the destruction of 63 houses and other structures in a single week in August, leaving 132 Palestinians homeless.

Last month, 31 international organizations, including Oxfam and Amnesty International, criticized a “surge” in West Bank demolitions, saying Tel Aviv is using them to seize property for the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank in 1967.

The settlements are considered illegal by the UN and many countries because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

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