UNRWA and OCHA condemn the forced displacement of 67 Palestine refugees in the occupied West Bank
UNRWA – OCHA Joint Press Release
Jerusalem, 22 April 2012
For Immediate Release
During the week, 67 Palestine refugees, more than half of them children, were forcibly displaced as a result of the eviction or demolition of their homes and other civilian structures. In one incident on 18 April, the Israeli authorities demolished the homes of seven refugee families in the Palestinian community of Al Khalayleh, displacing them for the third time in six months. The following day, the Israeli authorities demolished and confiscated emergency tents provided by humanitarian actors in response to the demolitions.
The Director of UNRWA’s West Bank Office, Felipe Sanchez, condemned the demolitions: “The forced eviction of Palestine refugees and the demolition of Palestinian homes and other civilian structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law. We urge the Israeli authorities to find an immediate solution to enable the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank, to lead a normal life, in full realisation of their rights”, he added.
In another incident on 18 April, two Palestinian families were forcibly evicted from their homes in the East Jerusalem suburb of Beit Hanina. The homes, located in a Palestinian neighborhood, were subsequently handed over to Israeli settlers, who reportedly intend to build a new settlement in the area. The eviction was condemned on 18 April by the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Maxwell Gaylard, stating that this may run counter to international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the oPt (OCHA), Ramesh Rajasingham said, “more than 1500 Palestinians have lost their homes as a result of demolitions and evictions since the beginning of 2011. Forced evictions and demolitions cause extensive human suffering, increase humanitarian needs and vulnerability.”
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