On Monday, heavily-guarded Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian community center and a children’s playground in occupied East Jerusalem. The center was the only public space and playground for the Palestinian residents of the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem adjacent to the Old City. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority executed the demolition with British-manufactured JCB machinery.
The Israeli demolition of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem that is not justified by military necessity is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions. Moreover, by demolishing the only playground in Wadi Hilweh, Israel denies Palestinian children their right to play.
Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child enshrines the right “to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” By ratifying the Convention in 1991, Israel is obligated to obey the directives of the Convention.
On 24 November 2011, JCB machines were seen in action demolishing two homes, a mosque and a barn in Umm Fagarah. The village is located in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank. On 20 June 2011, JCB machines were úsed to destroy the village of Bir al-Eid in the South Hebron Hills.