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The Federal Foreign Office on the demolition of Palestinian housing in the West Bank

09.11.2020 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement on the demolition of Palestinian housing in the village of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa in the West Bank:

We were concerned to hear of the demolition of Palestinian housing in the village of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa in the West Bank. This operation has left eleven families homeless in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is part of a worrying trend of seizures and demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank which has been seen since the beginning of this year. These actions impede are detrimental to the implementation of a negotiated two-state solution.

International humanitarian law obliges all states to ensure particular protection for civilians during conflicts. We call on Israel to observe these obligations, in particular those contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons, in the occupied territories.

The coronavirus pandemic has only amplified the pressing need for measures to protect the population and for cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. Both sides should reopen their dialogue and enact confidence-building measures. The Palestinian leadership too must do its part.

Background

On 3 November, Israeli security forces carried out demolition work to clear the Palestinian settlement of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan Valley, located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Seventy buildings and other structures were destroyed, including housing and sanitary facilities for eleven Palestinian families. The United Nations has recorded the demolition of 557 Palestinian-owned structures, an umbrella term for houses, huts, tents and basic infrastructure, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem so far this year.

 

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