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UNRWA: Israel becoming 'more efficient' at displacing Palestinians
Published Tuesday 11/10/2011 (updated) 13/10/2011 09:24
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An employee stands at a construction site in Gilo, on Oct. 2, 2011. Israel
approved construction for 1,100 new housing units in the illegal Jewish-only
settlement in September. Demolitions affected 990 Palestinians in the same
month, UNRWA reported. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli demolitions affected 990 Palestinians in the West Bank in September, showing that Israeli authorities "are becoming more efficient," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said.

The latest report from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees shows a dramatic rise in the number of people displaced or affected by Israeli demolitions. In July, the figure stood at 247.

"These figures show that the Israeli authorities are becoming more and more efficient in their demolitions, affecting and displacing ever growing numbers of Palestinians," Gunness told Ma'an.

In September, Israeli bulldozers targeted water cisterns in the West Bank, affecting a greater number of people than the demolitions of homes.

The demolition of one water cistern in Khirbet Atuf affected 300 people, Gunness said.

The Diakonia resource center for international humanitarian law says Israel's demolition of water cisterns in the West Bank has directly affected the lives of 13,602 Palestinians since 2009.

Israel's civil administration routinely destroys Palestinian structures built without Israeli permission in the 62 percent of the West Bank designated Area C under the Oslo Accords.

"Systematic and widespread administrative destruction of a range of civilian structures in area C, including homes, schools and cisterns, has been taking place since the end of 1980s," Diakonia said in its recent legal brief on West Bank demolitions.

The report highlights that the destruction of any civilian object during occupation is prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention "except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations" and even then, only if the structure is used solely by militants.

When structures such as water cisterns are destroyed, civilian populations are forced to leave the area. Diakonia notes that the forced transfer of a population is absolutely prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Gunness called for "an end to all practices and policies that lead to the forced displacement of Palestinians.

"With at least three thousand outstanding demolition orders in the rural parts of the West Bank, affecting tens of thousands of people, whole communities are living with the daily trauma and anxiety of losing their homes and livelihoods."
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1 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/10/2011 01:00
What's horrifying isn't merely that Israel engages in such practices, but that so many deny them, ignore them, rationalize them, and even defend them. It's acutely depressing -- to realize that so many people are so morally vile. It makes things like the Holocaust all too comprehensible. People will condone anything at all, if it suits them.

2 ) Tibi / Tubas
12/10/2011 16:50

yes, Israel is "becoming MUCH 'more efficient' at displacing Palestinians",
so Palestinians must become 'more efficient' too !!

We must improve in our ability: (1) to murder/terrorize, (2) to negotiate/compromise, or (3) to be displaced !!!


3 ) Salamat / US
12/10/2011 17:36
this article is a pure lies.. 1. there is no such a thing as "Palestinian" nation as we speak. 2. Israel is never demolishing anything that is legitimate! They demolish illegal construction, whether Arab or Jews! 3. Gunness has proven himself to support terrorists. He and UNRAW should be dismantled.

4 ) Wizard / of Oz
13/10/2011 00:06
Using the ancient water cisterns can, according to recent evaluations, be considered as highly vulnerable to human activities within the catchment area of these resources. UNRWA blanket-blaming Israel for demolition for nefarious purposes may be very premature and unwarranted. Perhaps UNRWA ought to investigate whether the water in these systems is toxic and polluted before pointing fingers elsewhere. Just maybe there are "other" reasons for closing such water sources.

5 ) Salim / Canada
13/10/2011 08:33
UNWRA has long outlived its original purpose Goon-ness is just another opportunist caring only for his cushy job and bloated salary. If he would have really cared about refugees, he'd go where there are real refugees such as the millions of starving refugees in Africa.

6 ) Rachel Lever / UK
13/10/2011 14:03
I think the comments above say as much as the article itself about the grotesque moral depths, deception and self deception, to which Israel and many of its people have sunk. The only way that these attitudes can be changed is by a deep-going process of re-learning, which will not happen as long as Israel remains constituted as an ethnic ghetto, but which could be envisaged as part of a transition to a single democratic society based on truth and reconciliation.

7 ) Stop Israeli War Crimes! / UK
25/10/2011 09:20
Stealing Water to cause Disease & Olive Groves Farmland wiping whole Villages off the Map Decades (6,000 houses destroyed Bulldozed in Cast Lead Massacre alone) as if they never existed. Israel is a Lunatic Racist State that Murders at will with USA Dummy's Tax $, THEY are the Nuclear Threat to the Peaceful Nations 550 A & H Bombs not Iran. Their F16's Apaches Kill unarmed folk US trained Snipers shoot Kids Old Men Women at will with Nil consequences 400 Kids Killed in 2009 Massacre.
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