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UN and EU slam Israel after West Bank demolition leaves 73 Palestinians homeless

November 5, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The United Nations and the European Union have criticized the demolition by the Israeli military of a large portion of a Palestinian community in the West Bank that left 73 people, including 41 children, homeless.

Jerusalem (CNN)The United Nations and the European Union have criticized the demolition by the Israeli military of a large portion of a Palestinian community in the West Bank that left 73 people, including 41 children, homeless.

Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which administers the occupied West Bank, said seven tents and eight pens were destroyed because they were built illegally in a firing zone in the Jordan Valley.

Harbi Abu Al-Kabsh, a 47-year-old Palestinian, said villagers were given no warning of the impending demolition.

An observer from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) who spoke with CNN said the Israeli military also razed two solar panels and seized a tractor and a private vehicle.

Yvonne Helle, a senior UN Development Programme official in the Palestinian territories, criticized COGAT's reasoning for demolishing the structures, some of which had been donated as humanitarian aid.

According to the UN, Israel has carried out widespread demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2020, leaving 869 Palestinians homeless, representing the largest number of demolitions since 2016.

While assuring that the humanitarian community stands ready to support all those who have been displaced or otherwise affected, I strongly reiterate our call to Israel to immediately halt unlawful demolitions," Helle said.

"The EU reiterates its call on Israel to halt all such demolitions, including of EU-funded structures, in particular in light of the humanitarian impact of the current coronavirus pandemic. "

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