UN condemns Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes
JERUSALEM - Agence France-PresseThe UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees on Wednesday condemned Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and called on Israel to "immediately halt" them.
"UNRWA condemns the latest demolitions in the West Bank, which displaced 68 people, the most recent of which occurred on Christmas Eve," spokesman Chris Gunness said.
"The demolitions tool place in Ein Ayoub near Ramallah and Fasayil al-Wusta near Jericho in the Jordan valley with 61 persons displaced in Ein Ayoub, and seven persons, all refugees, displaced in Fasayil al-Wusta," he added in the statement. Gunness said at least 1,103 Palestinians have been "displaced" with "663 structures, including 259 residential units" demolished in the West Bank and east Jerusalem during 2013.
Gunness said Israel must "abide by its obligations under international law" and called for an "immediate halt to administrative demolitions." A spokesman for the Civil Administration, the Israeli military body that administers parts of the West Bank, did not immediately comment.
Israel says it only demolishes structures that have been built without the required permission, but Palestinians say they are rarely granted permits.