The Office of the European Union Representative
(West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA)

Six-Month Report on Demolitions and Seizures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

22/11/2021 - 13:58

Reporting Period: 1 July – 31 December 2020

Despite a temporary freeze on home demolitions announced by the Israeli Authorities at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of demolitions and seizures of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, skyrocketed during the reporting period in comparison to the previous one. 536 Palestinian owned structures were demolished or seized, and 627 people (including 318 children) were displaced. Of the structures targeted in the six-month reporting period, 84 structures were funded by the EU or EU Member States with a value of nearly EUR 175,508.
The total number of demolitions in 2020 (January-December) amounted to 854 structures, of which 122 were EU funded humanitarian aid structures (valued at EUR 300,233), a 25 percent increase in the demolition of EU funded structures compared to 2019. Overall, 2020 saw a 36% increase in demolitions and a 10% increase in displacements, compared to 2019, marking a four-year high in demolitions and displacements, including incidents affecting EU-funded structures.

A major trend observed during the reporting period was the increased use of military orders and other legislation, preventing or limiting people’s ability to legally challenge the targeting of their homes and sources of livelihood in Israeli courts2. In Area C, there was an increase in the seizure of structures with little or no prior notice through the use of military orders. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian homeowners were forced to demolish their own property to avoid financial penalties and/or imprisonment as a result of increasing pressure from the Jerusalem Municipality.

Full report here: PDF icon six-month_report_on_demolitions_july-dec_2020.pdf