[News] UNRWA: Israel Quadruples Displacement Numbers Since July

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 12 16:56:14 EDT 2011

UNRWA: Israel Quadruples Displacement Numbers Since July

13.10.11 - 02:56

The United Nations Refugee Works Association 
(UNRWA) said on Wednesday that Israel was 
“becoming more and more efficient” in displacing 
Palestinians, quadrupling the monthly total from July to September 2011.

“There has been a shocking rise in the number of 
people displaced and affected due to Israeli 
demolitions in the West Bank,” said UNRWA 
spokesman Chris Guinness, citing recently 
published statistics in a Wednesday press 
release. “Following the unofficial Israeli 
suspension of demolitions during the Holy Month 
of Ramadan in August, in September, 990 people 
were displaced or affected by Israeli demolitions.”

In July 2011, that number was 247.

A full third of September’s displaced 
Palestinians came as a result of an Israeli 
policy of targeting water cisterns for 
demolition. In the West Bank, where only about 5 
to 10% of available water is clean enough to 
drink, the destruction of cisterns can mean the 
removal of whole populations. The practice of 
demolition, according to UNRWA’s Demolition Watch 
website, is the leading cause of displacement of West Bank Palestinians.

“One cistern in Khirbet Atuf [in the Jordan 
served about 300 people,” Guinness explained.

The majority of Palestinians displaced in 
September were children, making up 439 of the 990 
displaced persons. In July, 120 children were displaced.

Palestinians living in Area C­about 60% of the 
West Bank­comprise most of those affected by 
demolitions. They must apply for permits from 
Israeli authorities to build in Area C, but UNRWA 
figures show that 94% of permit applications are rejected.

“Forced displacement is illegal under 
international law,” said Guinness, “and UNRWA 
calls 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 tends of thousands of 
people, whole communities are living with the 
daily trauma and anxiety of losing their homes and livelihoods.”

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