The demolition and seizure of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continued during the reporting period. 319 Palestinian owned structures were demolished or seized, and 447 people (including 222 children) were displaced. Of the structures targeted in the six-month reporting period, 62 structures were funded by the EU or EU Member States with a value of nearly EUR 391,406. The total number of demolitions in 2019 (January-December) amounted to 623 structures, of which 98 were EU funded humanitarian aid structures (valued at EUR 480,625), a doubling in the demolition of EU funded structures compared to 2018.
Overall, 2019 saw a 35% increase in demolitions and a 95% increase in displacements, compared to 2018. 204 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2019. This marks the highest yearly number in the last two decades. Demolitions of residential structures in East Jerusalem increased by 40% from 2018 to 2019. The number of people displaced in East Jerusalem doubled in the same period. 2019 also saw a significant number of demolitions in East Jerusalem carried out by the owners themselves to avoid fees to the Jerusalem municipality to cover the costs of carrying out the demolition. Other concerning developments in the reporting period involve the unprecedented spike in demolitions of community infrastructure (not least related to water) which negatively affect large numbers of Palestinians, the implementation of Military Order 1797 (which expands the authority of the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to quickly demolish certain structures, demolitions of educational institutions, as well as punitive demolitions.
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