UN registers sharp spike in Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses

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The United Nations says there's been a sharp rise in the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes during the coronavirus pandemic and the associated health risks.

The UN humanitarian affairs office said 389 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or confiscated in the West Bank from March to August this year. It said the monthly average is the highest in four years. UNOCHA said 205 people were displaced in August alone, which is also a record since January 2017. The UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories said unlawful demolitions have exacerbated the vulnerabilities of Palestinians during the pandemic and must stop immediately. Israel routinely razes homes built by Palestinians on their own lands in annexed east Jerusalem al-Quds or the occupied West Bank under the pretext of lacking construction permits. The UN says such permits are virtually impossible to obtain and the result is a chronic housing shortage.

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