Aid agencies rap Israel for demolishing Palestinian homes

Aid agencies working in the occupied West Bank have raised the alarm on a spike in Israeli demolition of Palestinian properties, Press TV reports.

Israeli authorities have ordered the demolition of two houses in the al-Tur neighborhood in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The order would make eight family members, including two children and one disabled girl, homeless.

“I left my home in the morning to go shopping. When I was out, I received a phone call from a friend. She told me my house was being demolished. We had received no warning and my children were inside. By the time I got back it was too late,” a Palestinian woman told Press TV.

The woman added that the family had been paying monthly charges to the authorities for the house and they had received no warning ahead of the demolition.

The family now sleeps in tents provided by the British Red Cross.

On February 6, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Israel demolished 390 Palestinian homes in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley in 2013, which resulted in the displacement of nearly 600 Palestinians.

It noted that the numbers have doubled in comparison with the year before.

Rights groups say Tel Aviv’s demolitions are aimed at grabbing more land for construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian lands and launching military projects in the occupied territories.

Israel’s persistent settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank has created a major obstacle against efforts made to establish peace in the Middle East.

The Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.