More Palestinian homes destroyed by Israel

Saturday, 13 August, 2016 - 11:30

Israel has demolished 20 Palestinian homes in the West Bank since the beginning of August, amidst a crackdown on Palestinian communities in "Area C," human rights organization said on Friday.

Area C makes up 60 percent of the West Bank. It has been under complete Israeli military control since the mid-1990s.

Over the past week and a half, Israel's Civil Administration demolished 20 homes and 13 other structures, leaving 53 people, including 25 minors, homeless, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a statement.

At least five of the demolished structures, located mainly in the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills, were donated by international humanitarian aid organizations.

Israel has been stepping up home demolitions in the West Bank since the beginning of 2016, citing "lack of building permits."

According to B'Tselem, in 2016, at least 188 Palestinian homes were demolished, the highest number ever. A recent report by the organization showed that Israeli authorities had razed more Palestinian houses in the first half of 2016 than they have throughout the entire previous year.