House demolitions in the West Bank resume after suspension

08 September 2011

8 September 2011

Facing an uncertain future: home demolitions resume in the West Bank

The Israeli authorities have resumed home demolitions in the West Bank after a month-long suspension.

In the early hours of 8 September five residential structures in the Um al Khayr Bedouin community near Hebron in the southern West Bank were demolished, displacing 20 people and severely affecting the 145-strong community.

A two-year-old boy, abandoned accidentally as the bulldozers moved in, was severely traumatised.

Young Bedouin girl surveys her demolished home at Um al Khayr 8.9.2011
On the same day demolitions also reportedly resumed at An Nassariya Village north east of Nablus in the northern West Bank where three water cisterns were destroyed; and in the community of As Samu, south of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, where the Israeli authorities reportedly demolished electrical infrastructure.

More than 700 people have been displaced in the West Bank this year alone, surpassing the entire number displaced during all of last year (594 people).



Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

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