A Senior UN official called, on Friday, for the Israeli occupation to stop destroying Palestinian property and respect international law.

The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, today condemned the demolition and confiscation of donor-funded humanitarian assistance by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian community of Jabal al-Baba.

On 16 May, Israeli authorities demolished seven homes and confiscated materials for three other ones. Nine Palestine refugee families, comprising 49 members were left without shelter as a result, 22 of them children.

According to Days of Palestine, the materials were part of a humanitarian aid package for vulnerable Palestinian Bedouin families, provided by the UN’s Humanitarian Pooled Fund, earlier this year.

“Despite the obligation on Israel under international law to facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of relief to those who need it, humanitarian relief to vulnerable communities like Jabal al-Baba is increasingly under attack,” said Piper.

Jabal al-Baba, located to the east of Jerusalem in an area planned for the expansion of the illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, is one of 46 communities in the central West Bank considered at high risk of forcible transfer.

The destruction of homes and of livelihoods creates pressures on households to move, exacerbating the risk of forcible transfer which would be considered a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Over 600 structures have been demolished or confiscated across the West Bank already in 2016, far exceeding the total for all of 2015. In their wake, over 900 people have been displaced from their homes and a further 2,500 have seen their livelihoods affected.

“Once again, we call on Israel to respect the rights of these vulnerable communities and to leave these households in peace,” said Piper.

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