A UN refugee agency on Thursday blasted Israeli demolitions in the West Bank that displaced 68 people in near-freezing weather, with the most recent demolition taking place on Christmas Eve.
According to the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency, which oversees Palestinian refugees, 46 of those displaced in the demolitions are Bedouin Palestinian refugees, and 32 of the 68 are children — including a 5-year-old girl paralyzed from the waist down.
The demolitions, which the agency said violate international law, took place in Ein Ayoub, near Ramallah, and Fasayil al-Wusta, near Jericho.
Spokesman Chris Gunness called for an immediate halt to the demolitions.
UNRWA said tents had been distributed to the displaced Palestinians by the Palestinian Red Crescent, but that with nighttime temperatures in the West Bank plunging to near zero, the aid was inadequate.
Some 750 sheep and goats were also said to be left without shelter.
Israel says it knocks down buildings erected without permits.
In September, the United Nations human rights office castigated Israel for “mass demolitions” that the government has carried out in Arab areas in recent months, and said the actions violate international law.
“These mass demolitions raise serious concerns about the prohibition on forced evictions under international human rights law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in September, while urging Israel to cease the practice.
A number of high-profile land-use issues this year have been condemned by the UN, including an ongoing effort by the IDF to displace from an area near a West Bank firing zone up to 1,000 Palestinians living in long-term, unrecognized villages, and a resettlement plan in southern Israel that could displace dozens of unrecognized Bedouin villages.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.