Palestinian homes destroyed by Israeli military despite Coronavirus freeze on demolitions

Bedouin boys sit near the rubble of a tent in the Deir Hajle Bedouin community, east of the Palestinian city of Jericho, June 3, 2020.Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

News: The homes of 65 Palestinians were torn down by the Israeli military on June 3, in what has been the largest number of housing demolitions since the Coronavirus outbreak.

Here are five components of the story:
  • The Civil Administration of Israel had declared in April that no inhabited structures which had been deemed illegal would be demolished until the end of the health crisis. This is the branch of the military that has authority over civilian matters in the West Bank.
  • In spite of these assurances, houses in the Jericho and Hebron areas were destroyed, rendering 25 children homeless. In the Jericho area, Israeli forces demolished a building that housed seven families. Ibrahim Abu Dahuk, a father of seven whose home was destroyed, told Haaretz that they moved to the building three months ago, after the Civil Administration evicted them from their previous residence.
  • Nadal Abu Yunis of the Khirbet al-Majaz local authority told Haaretz that some of the evicted residents slept in caves on Wednesday night, and others in tents provided by locals
  • The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the defence ministry unit which oversees the Civil Administration said that enforcement action was taken against buildings and tents that were erected without the necessary permits and documentation.
  • “We emphasize that enforcement has been carried out in accordance with the authority and procedures, and subject to operational considerations,” they said in their statement.
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