On Christmas Eve, Israel continued a recent series of demolitions of Palestinian homes in Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank, expelling 68 people, nearly half of them children, out into the extreme winter weather. 46 of the recently displaced Palestinians are refugees and 32 of them children, including a 5-year-old girl paralyzed from the waist down. They have been provided tents by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) says is “hardly adequate considering night-time temperatures plunge to around zero”.
Because of these demolitions, which violate international law, these historically self-sufficient communities have been forced to endure the pitiless seasonal weather in inadequate housing, entirely dependent on international assistance. On this day, many people around the world are celebrating family life with their children. But thanks to the “administrative demolitions” these families have lost their homes and their livelihoods are severely threatened.
So far in 2013, at least 1,103 Palestinians, including 558 children, have been displaced in Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, which is the area where Israel exercises both administrative and security jurisdiction. 663 structures, including 259 homes, have been demolished by Israel throughout the West Bank, mostly in Area C.