Israel demolished 295 Palestinian residential structures in 2021

A Palestinian man searches through the rubble of his home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces demolished it (Saeed Qaq - APA Images)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 4, 2022

Israeli occupation demolished 295 Palestinian residential structures in occupied territories in 2021, leaving 895 Palestinians, 463 of them minors, homeless, Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, reported on Tuesday.

According to a report issued by B’Tselem, the demolition of Palestinian homes carried out by the Israeli occupation in 2021 was the highest number since 2016.

“Throughout the year, another 548 non-residential structures were demolished on Israeli authorities’ orders, including cisterns, warehouses, agricultural structures, businesses, and public structures – the highest number since 2012,” B’Tselem said.

The Israeli rights group added: “In East Jerusalem alone, 160 structures were demolished, 96 of which were homes.”

It continued: “In the West Bank, recent years have seen a steady increase in home demolitions: in 2021, Israeli forces demolished 199 structures, as opposed to 151 residential structures in 2020 and 104 in 2019.”

B’Tselem denied the Israeli claims that these demolitions were carried out as a matter of “law enforcement,” pointing out that the “Palestinians who build without permits are not “criminals.”

However, the rights group said: “The Israeli apartheid regime blocks almost all Palestinian development in vast parts of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – while building massively for Jews.

“This policy leaves Palestinians no choice but to build without permits, so as to have a roof over their heads. At that point, the Israeli authorities issue the structures demolition orders.”