While world attention remains focused on whether or not the UN will admit as a full member a nonexistent Palestinian state, Israeli occupation forces are escalating their very real demolitions of Palestinian homes and infrastructure in the occupied West Bank.
On 8 September, Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine Refugees, stated:
On the eve of discussions about Palestinian statehood in New York, the Israeli authorities have resumed home demolitions in the West Bank after a month long suspension. In the early hours of this morning five residential structures in the Um al Khayr Bedouin community near Hebron were demolished displacing twenty people and severely affecting the 145 strong community. A two year old boy, abandoned accidentally as the bulldozers move in was severely traumatized.
Today demolitions also reportedly resumed at An Nassariya Village north east of Nablus where 3 water cisterns were destroyed; and in the community of As Samu, south of Hebron where the Israeli authorities reportedly demolished electrical infrastructure. More than seven hundred people have been displaced in the West Bank this year alone, surpassing the entire number displaced during all of last year (594 people). With this resumption of demolitions on the eve of statehood talks, the prospect of Palestinian statehood is itself being bulldozed.”
Schools face Israeli demolition
Threat of further demolitions still looms. UNRWA reports that there are more than 3,000 outstanding demolition orders in so-called “Area C” – the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control with no presence of Palestinian Authority forces.
Eighteen of the demolition orders have been issued to schools.
Recently UNRWA launched a campaign called “Don’t demolish my future” to try to save Khan al-Ahmar school which faces imminent demolition.
Khan al-Ahmar is a Palestinian bedouin community which faces destruction due to the constant expansion of Jewish-only settlements on its land.
Israel’s ability to resume and escalate the destruction of Palestinian communities, and the ethnic cleansing of their residents is undoubtedly assisted by the silence and complicity of the so-called “international community” which refuses to protect Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for violating the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN resolutions declaring its colonization practices illegal.