Palestine

130,000 Palestinians facing home demolition threat in Israeli occupied territories

As many as 130,000 Palestinians, who live in the areas occupied by the Israeli regime following a war in 1948, face the threat of demolition of their homes and other structures, a new report says.

The survey was published by the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP) and the Sikkuy-Aufoq Organization, both of whom are NGOs based in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Information Center news agency reported on Saturday.

The two organizations produced the statistics by counting the number of the Palestinian-owned buildings that lacked what the occupying regime calls “construction permits.”

The 130,000 Palestinians reside in about 29,000 buildings that have fallen short of obtaining the permits due to restrictions or dilatory tactics that are intentionally employed by the occupying regime. About 15,000 of those Palestinian structures are small buildings, agricultural sheds, car repair shops, and other structures.

Close to 90 percent of the structures are located “within the approved structural plans and within areas designated for housing,” the news agency reported, citing the research. The Tel Aviv regime, however, has stopped short of completing the “necessary planning procedures” in those areas that allow the issuance of the permits.

The Israeli regime claimed existence after occupying huge swathes of Palestinian territories during a Western-backed war that lasted between May 1948 and March 1949.

Following the warfare, roughly 800,000 Jews immigrated to the occupied territories in line with plans led by the Israeli regime, which sought to create a racial supremacy regime. In the year running up to the war, Tel Aviv also embarked on a large-scale ethnic cleansing campaign that forced between 750,000 to 850,000 Palestinians out of their homeland.

The research, meanwhile, showed that, within the occupied territories, it takes Palestinians an average of eight years to obtain a building permit, compared to just 2.5 years for the Israeli population.

Palestinians demonstrate in occupied territories against Israel’s demolitions

Separately on Saturday, scores of Palestinians took to the streets in the city of Tayibe, located in the central part of the occupied territories, in protest at the Israeli regime’s demolition policy.

The protests broke out after a local Palestinian resident, Diaa Jaber, was notified that his home would be demolished soon by the Israeli authorities, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

The protesters blocked the main road in the city to express their rejection of the policy, under which dozens of their homes and structures are at risk of demolition.

They chanted slogans and raised banners reading ‘demolition of Arabs’ homes won’t go on’, and ‘no to the demolition policy’.

Witnesses said Israeli police forces confronted the participants in an attempt to disperse them.

In early September, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) offered a grim report, saying the Israeli regime has demolished close to 9,000 Palestinian-owned structures since 2009, rendering thousands of Palestinians homeless.

According to the report, the regime has laid waste to as many as 8,746 such buildings throughout the period. The demolitions have displaced some 13,000 Palestinians and inflicted losses on around 152,000 others, the UN report added.

In order to try to rationalize flattening of the Palestinian structures, the regime has been accusing their owners of lacking construction permit, obtaining which is next to impossible.

The Tel Aviv regime also regularly destroys the homes of Palestinians it blames for attacks on Israeli settlers, in an act of collective punishment condemned by human rights activists.

Thousands of Palestinians, in spite of the fact that they had done nothing wrong and were not suspected of any wrongdoing, have been displaced due to the regime’s cruel policy.

 

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