Human rights office concerned about Israel's continued demolition of communities in the occupied West Bank

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Rupert Colville

Within the space of one month, both residential structures and those related to livelihood – in three Bedouin and herder communities have been entirely, or almost entirely, demolished by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The office disclosed that most recently, on 16 September, 58 structures were demolished, including all residential structures and livestock shelters, in the herding community of Mak-hul in the northern Jordan Valley.

Spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters that all 10 families (48 people, including 16 children) were rendered homeless and no alternative housing options were offered.

“Israeli authorities denied the provision of emergency shelter assistance to the community by humanitarian organisations. The absence of any form of shelter has obliged the women and children of the community to leave Mak-hul to seek temporary shelter in a neighbouring community, whilst the men have remained to tend to the livestock. The community remains vulnerable to further demolitions and repeated displacement due to lack of legal security of tenure and the consequent inability to obtain building permits.”

The human rights office said these mass demolitions raise serious concerns about the prohibition on forced eviction under international human rights law, and Israel's obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of Palestinians to adequate housing and freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family and home.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26″

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