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Demolition across the West Bank today
DWG oPt (Displacement Working Group)
23 - 24.4.2013

Dear colleagues,

As many of you may have heard demolitions took place across the West Bank in the last few hours. We are still following up to obtain further information, but according to initial reports this included the destruction of at least 15 Palestinian structures in 6 separate locations in the northern and southern West Bank. As a result, at least 26 people, including 18 children, have been displaced and another 41 people, including 22 children, otherwise affected. The number is likely to increase as we receive further information about the incident in Khirbet Yarza. Many of the demolitions took place in the northern Jordan Valley, in areas that are located close to Israeli settlements.

Northern West Bank
In Bardala in the northern Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities demolished 1 livelihood-related structure (240m2), used to store and pack vegetables, affecting the livelihood of an extended family of 21 people, including 7 children. This is the second time in the last few months that the family suffers a demolition, but a similar structure in the same location was previously demolished on 5 December last year.
In Hamamat al Maleh, in the northern Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities demolished 6 Palestinian structures, including 4 residential structures, 1 animal shelter and 1 animal pen, displacing 3 Palestinian families, comprising 14 people, including 8 children. As many of you know, the families in Hamamat al Malaeh have suffered a series of displacement-related incidents in recent months, due both to repeated demolitions as well as military training by the Israeli authorities. At least 3 of the structures demolished today were provided as part of an emergency response by humanitarian actors following a recent demolition.
In Ein al Hilwa, in the northern Jordan Valley, close to the Israeli settlement of Maskiyyot, Israeli authorities demolished 5 Palestinian structures, including 3 residential structures, 1 animal pen and 1 storage shed, displacing a family of 12 people, including 10 children.
Information about a demolition incident in Khirbet Yarza is still pending, but as many of you know the families there have suffered several demolitions in recent years, including of residential structures and animal shelters, as well as the village mosque (on at least two occasions).

Central West Bank
At Hizma, north of Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished 1 commercial structure (120m2) used for the cutting and selling of stone and granite. Three Palestinian families, comprising 14 people, including 3 children, were affected as the business constituted their main source of income.

Southern West Bank
In Al Baqa`a, east of Hebron city, close to the Israeli settlements of Kharsina and Kiryat Arba`, Israeli authorities demolished 1 animal shelter (30m2) belonging to a Palestinian family of 6 people, including 4 children.

This latest round of demolitions brings the total number of structures demolished since the beginning of the year to at least 171 structures, including 72 residential structures. We will send you more comprehensive figures about the number of people displaced or affected in the coming days.

Further to our e-mail yesterday, we wanted to send you an update on today`s demolitions.

According to initial information, Israeli authorities this morning demolished 5 Palestinian structures in 2 different locations in the West Bank, i.e. in East Jerusalem and Hebron Governorate in the south. As a result, 70 Palestinians, including 37 children, were negatively affected.
In At Tur in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities demolished a recently built Palestinian building of around 500m2 containing 3 uninhabited residential units and 2 commercial units. The building, which belongs to an extended Palestinian refugee family (45 people, including 20 children), was reportedly built on privately owned land, which is zoned by the Jerusalem Municipality as a `green area`. As many of you know, only around 13% of the land in East Jerusalem has been zoned by Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction, while around 35% has been zoned for Israeli settlements. For more information on this issue, see e.g. http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_Jerusalem_FactSheet_December_2012_english.pdf.
In Al `Arroub refugee camp, in Hebron, Israeli authorities demolished 4 Palestinian structures, including 1 uninhabited house under construction, 2 agricultural sheds and walls. The demolition affected 3 Palestinian refugee families (25 people, including 17 children).

In the last two days (according to updated figures), Israeli authorities have thus demolished 22 Palestinian structures in 8 different locations. As a result, 28 people have been displaced, including 18 children, many of them for the second or third time in recent months. In addition, 120 people have been otherwise affected, including 57 children, for example due to demolitions of livelihood-related structures. This brings the total of structures demolished since the beginning of the year to 192 structures, with 355 people displaced and 541 otherwise affected.

Our field teams are currently following up on the demolitions and emergency responses will be activated as needed. A couple of advocacy initiatives are similarly underway. Please do contact us if you are interested and able to contribute to such efforts.

All the best, E
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