NRC condemns Israel’s demolition of Palestinian tents in Hamsa Al-Foqa

Oslo (QNN)- The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Tuesday condemned Israel’s demolition of Palestinian tents in Hamsa Al-Bqai’a village in the northern Jordan Valley, leaving more than 80 people, including nearly 48 children, homeless.

“Israel appears determined to force Palestinians out of their village of Humsa Al-Bqai’a, depriving them of basic shelter and making their lives miserable, while destroying international aid donated to the most vulnerable,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

“The international community has once again witnessed attacks on some of the poorest families on occupied Palestinian land. Empty words of ‘concern’ are not enough for these families who find themselves homeless and deprived of the most basic needs,” Egeland stated.

“The international community, including European governments, must do more to stop forced displacement and demand that Israel provide reparations to Palestinian victims.”

On 1 February, Israeli occupation forces confiscated 25 structures in Hamsa Al-Bqai’a Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley on the alleged basis that they lacked an Israeli building permit for construction in Area C.

On 3 February, Israeli occupation forces returned to seize a further 21 structures. Sixty Palestinians have been uprooted from their homes, including 35 children. Structures demolished included 21 homes, 17 livestock shelters, and 8 water and hygiene facilities.

“The European Union, 10 of its member states, and the United Kingdom had funded 29 of the structures in November 2020, after Israel destroyed or seized 83 structures in the community in the largest single demolition incident recorded in recent years.”

Since the start of 2021, Israeli authorities have demolished at least 153 structures, three times the same period last year. In 2020, Israeli authorities demolished 848 Palestinians structures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a 36 per cent increase compared with 2019.

“Under international law, an occupying power is strictly prohibited from transferring members of the occupied population from their existing communities against their will.”

“Hamsa Al-Bqai’a community has received material assistance from the West Bank Protection Consortium, a strategic partnership of five international NGOs, 11 European donors, and EU Humanitarian Aid, formed to prevent the forcible transfer of Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Last November, Israeli occupation demolished eighteen tents that housed 11 families in the village, displacing a total of 74 people, more than half of which were minors, according to B’Tselem.

Almost 800 Palestinians, including 404 minors, lost their homes in 2020.

Throughout 2019, 677 lost their homes, up from 387 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.

(Source / 09.02.2021)

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