Israeli authorities demolished 729 Palestinian buildings in 2020 on the pretext of lacking construction permits, according to an Israeli human rights group.
"Israel has displaced by its policies 1,006 Palestinians, including 519 minors, after the demolition of 273 homes," the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B'Tselem, said Monday. It went on to say that Israel "demolished 456 structures for non-residential purposes, including vital humanitarian facilities and installations such as water and electricity networks." B'Tselem also said Israeli occupation forces killed 27 Palestinians in 2020, including seven minors.
"B'Tselem investigated 16 cases of killing Palestinians in the West Bank and it was found that at least 11 of them were killed without any justification, as none of them posed a threat to the lives of security force members or others, whether at the time of shooting at them or in general," the nongovernmental organization (NGO) said.
The center pointed out that it documented 248 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2020. The attacks ranged from physical assaults and throwing stones at Palestinian homes, to targeting farmers or their properties, including 80 incidents of damaging trees and other crops, which resulted in the destruction of more than 3,000 trees.
Israeli occupation forces raided Palestinian villages and cities "at least 3,000 times and stormed no less than 2,480 homes," it said. B'Tselem stated that during 2020, "security forces set up no less than 3,524 sudden checkpoints in addition to fixed ones" in the occupied West Bank. The center also stated that Israeli security forces detained at least 2,785 Palestinians.
Israel justifies the demolition of Palestinian homes by lacking building permits, despite the fact that Israel does not provide such permits to Palestinians.
Moreover, Israel orders Palestinians to demolish their own homes or pay the demolition price to the municipality if they refuse to tear down their houses. Palestinians as well as the international community consider Israeli demolition politics in the occupied territories illegal.
The ongoing Israeli demolitions signal protracted wrangling over the future of Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000 Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians, and sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
In 1980, the Israeli parliament passed a law declaring the "complete and united" city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, including the eastern half that it captured in 1967. But the U.N. regards East Jerusalem as occupied, and the city's status remains disputed until it can be resolved by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who say that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.