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OHCHA : Communities in the Jerusalem periphery at risk of forced displacement
OHCHA : Communities in the Jerusalem periphery at risk of forced displacement
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Gaza, Alray - Palestinian communities in the hills to the east of Jerusalem are at risk of forced displacement due to a “relocation” plan advanced by the Israeli authorities, UNITED NATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

The report said that Israeli authorities have justified this on grounds by claiming  that the Palestinian residents do not possess title over the land.  They have adopted a combination of measures which  have created a coercive  environment for the Palestinian  communities.

These  measures have included restricted access to grazing land and markets for their products, which have undermined their livelihoods and increased their dependency on

humanitarian assistance; demolition and threat of demolition of homes, schools and animal shelters; and the corresponding restrictions on obtaining building permits. The authorities have also failed to protect the communities from intimidation and attacks by Israeli settlers.

Most of the families have pending demolition orders against their homes, none of the communities have been connected to the electricity network and only half are connected to the water network.

The report noted that the “relocation” plan, in its current form, raises serious legal and humanitarian concerns, as the two sites designated for the relocation will undermine the traditional livelihoods and culture of the communities.

The UN  S  ecretary-General has stated that the  implementation of the proposed “relocation”

would amount to individual and mass forcible transfers and forced evictions, prohibited under international humanitarian law and human rights law.

It is worth mentioning that  around 2,300 Palestinians, two thirds of them children, reside in about 20 small herding communities in the hills east of Jerusalem, in Area C.

Over 80% of the residents are refugees, a status they acquired following their eviction from their place of residence in southern Occupied Palestine  in the early 1950’s.