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

Six-Month Report on Demolitions and Confiscations of EU funded structures in the West Bank including East Jerusalem

06/03/2019 - 14:42
News stories

During the reporting period destruction and seizure of Palestinian property by the Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem continued.

From July to December 2018 over 264 Palestinian owned structures were impacted by demolition, seizure, sealing off, or eviction. Almost one third of the incidents took place in East Jerusalem, with an increasing trend. As a result of the demolitions, 296 Palestinians including 146 children were displaced.

Of the structures (such as classrooms and residences) targeted over the six month reporting period, 25 structures were funded by the EU or EU Member States for a value of nearly €107,299.

Moreover, 42 schools in Area C[1] and eight schools in East Jerusalem have pending demolition or "stop work" orders and face the risk of full or partial demolition due to lack of building permits. Half of these schools have received EU or Member State funding. Demolitions of the schools would severely impact Palestinian children's right to education.

The total number of demolitions in 2018 (January-December) amounted to 461 structures in area C and East Jerusalem, a 10% increase compared to 2017. Of the structures targeted during 2018, 51 were EU funded humanitarian aid structures worth over €168,000.

In general, development in Area C and East Jerusalem is tightly restricted by the Israeli authorities through means such as limiting or refusing permits for construction of buildings and structures. Palestinians are therefore left with almost no other choice but to build without permit. Since 1967 99.8% of land allocated in the West Bank (area C) has been allotted to Israeli settlements.[2]

The practice of enforcement measures such as demolitions and confiscations of humanitarian assets are contrary to Israel's obligations under International Law, including provisions of International Humanitarian Law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, and cause suffering to ordinary Palestinians.

Read full report here

[1] Over 60% of the West Bank is considered Area C, where Israel retains near exclusive control, including over law enforcement, planning and construction.

[2] Peace Now, February 2019