Israel demolished, seized almost 300 Palestinian properties in first quarter of 2023, says UN

Israel demolished, seized almost 300 Palestinian properties in first quarter of 2023, says UN
The destruction of Palestinian homes by Israeli authorities appears to be increasing significantly this year, displacing more than 400 people between January and March alone.
2 min read
04 May, 2023
Palestinian homes in the occupied territories are often destroyed to make way for Israeli settlers [Getty]

Israeli authorities destroyed or seized close to 300 Palestinian structures during the first quarter of 2023, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Some 290 structures belonging to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem were demolished or seized between January and March of this year, OCHA said Wednesday.

The demolitions and seizures led to the displacement of 413 Palestinians, including 194 children, in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, OCHA said.

More than a third of the demolitions and seizures were of residential property, it added.

A total of 11,000 Palestinians were affected by the demolitions and seizures, with their access to basic services including education and healthcare severely impacted, OCHA said.

Live Story

Demolitions and seizures in the first quarter of 2023 were up 46 percent on the year before, OCHA said – even though the year 2022 had already seen the biggest increase in Palestinian home demolitions and seizures since 2016, according to the report.

Israeli authorities often order the demolition of Palestinian properties to make way for settlers.

Palestinian homes have also been destroyed as a way of punishing the families of Palestinians accused of committing crimes.

The demolitions have often been condemned by rights groups and international organisations.

Ministers part of Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government, which came to power at the end of 2022, have lent their support to annexation of the occupied West Bank and the expansion of Israeli settlements.

In one demolition this year, Israeli authorities razed 15 structures, all of which were donor-funded OCHA said. Seventeen people, ten of them children, were displaced when Israeli authorities razed the structures in Lifjim, Nablus.