During the period between December 10 and 23, Israeli occupation authorities demolished or forced people to demolish 29 structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, displacing 45 people and affecting over 100 others, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated.
Twelve of the structures targeted, including five previously provided as humanitarian assistance, were in three herding communities located in areas designated as firing zones for military training, in the Tubas, Nablus and Jericho governorates.
OCHA said, in its biweekly report, that so far in 2019, 617 structures have been demolished or seized in the West Bank, displacing 898 Palestinians; these figures represent a 35 and 92 per cent increase, respectively, compared with the equivalent period in 2018. Over 20 per cent of all structures targeted in 2019, and some 40 per cent of all donor-funded aid structures, were located in firing zones, which cover about 30 per cent of Area C.
During one of the demolitions, in a firing zone east of Nablus, Israeli forces uprooted or cut approximately 2,500 forest trees and saplings. The trees were part of a recreational area serving some 14,000 residents in the nearby town of Beit Furik and the Khirbet Tana herding community. It was developed with the support of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and an international organization. This is the third such recreational area in Area C to be destroyed in 2019.
During the same period, Israeli forces opened fire on at least 15 other occasions, in areas adjacent to the Gaza perimeter fence, while enforcing access restrictions; no injuries were reported. Israeli forces carried out one incursion and land-leveling operation near the fence. Four Palestinians, including three children, were taken into custody near the perimeter fence between Gaza and Israel, in two separate incidents.
Israeli forces carried out a total of 154 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and detained 146 Palestinians, including at least 17 children. The largest number of operations was in the Jerusalem governorate (41), mainly in al-Eesawiyya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, followed by Ramallah (34) and Hebron (27) governorates.
WAFA reports that, on 10 December, some 80 Palestinian farmers from three villages in the Salfit governorate lost access to their land behind the West Bank Barrier after the Israeli authorities confiscated their entry permits. The incident took place at the Barrier gate leading to the farmers’ land; according to the latter, no reason was given to them. On 5 December, farmers from these three villages petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court against the routine failure of the authorities to open the gate at the scheduled time.