UN experts say Palestinian property destruction must end

27th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Three United Nations experts on Tuesday called for an end to the destruction by Israeli authorities and settlers of Palestinian-owned houses and structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

"These actions by the Israeli authorities violate human rights and humanitarian law and must end immediately," the UN special rapporteurs on the rights to housing, food, and drinking water said in a statement.

Since January 2011, at least 387 structures had been destroyed, as a result of "discriminatory and restrictive zoning and planning policies applied by the government of Israel," they said

As a consequence, "the number of people displaced as of August 2011 already exceeds the number of people displaced during the entire year of 2010."

The special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, said that many of those evicted -- "some of whom have been living there for decades ... are not provided with compensation or relocation, and are even forced to pay for the demolition itself."

The rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water, Catarina de Albuquerque, said water systems were also being destroyed in the West Bank, while her colleague on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, warned that farmers' livelihoods were being affected.

"Israeli authorities must take all necessary measures to prevent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and Palestinian property ... and investigate and prosecute criminal acts committed by settlers in an independent, impartial, effective, thorough and timely manner," they said.

© 2011 AFP

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