Israeli demolitions displace 49 in Bedouin community visited by UK MPs

On Monday, Israeli security forces demolished a number homes in Jabal al Baba, a Bedouin community in Area C of the West Bank, close to East Jerusalem. They reportedly arrived at 5am, and disassembled seven EU-donated homes and confiscated materials for another three, displacing 49 Palestinians, including 22 children.

2016 has seen a rapid acceleration of demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, with more structures demolished so far this year (591) than in the whole of 2015 (531). To date, more than 800 Palestinians have been made homeless in 2016, and a further 2,500 have had their livelihoods affected.

UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Robert Piper, called on Israel to stop the destruction of such structures:

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

Demolitions and building restrictions in Area C, the 60% of the occupied West Bank where Israel maintains full military and administrative control, mean that communities like Jabal al Baba are often isolated from health services. In order to ensure they can access basic care, MAP works with our partner the Islah Charitable Society to provide a mobile clinic to these marginalised communities.

This year two delegations of British MPs and Peers have visited Jabal al Baba on delegations to the West Bank organised by MAP and Caabu. Community members told the parliamentarians about their lives, and discussed the constant threat of demolitions and displacement they face.

A number of the MPs who were hosted by the Jabal al Baba community have this week reacted to the latest demolitions: