Displacement

Thousands of Palestinians throughout the occupied Palestinian territory have been forcibly displaced or are at risk of forced displacement, which has immediate and longer-term physical, socio-economic and psycho-social impacts on Palestinian families, particularly on children. In the West Bank, displacement is primarily driven by occupation-related policies, including the inability to obtain building permits and related demolitions, residency status issues and the impact of the Barrier. In some cases, entire West Bank communities are at risk of forcible transfer. In the Gaza Strip, displacement has primarily resulted from damage or destruction to homes during hostilities or military operations. Many displaced people in Gaza are unable to rebuild or repair their homes due to the inability of the Palestinian Government of National Consensus to assume effective government functions; Israel’s longstanding restrictions on the import of building materials defined as “dual use items”; and the slow pace of disbursement of pledges made by member states for reconstruction.

OCHA monitors displacement of Palestinians due to home demolitions in the West Bank through its online Demolition System. Official data on demolition orders in Area C is available here.

Articles, statements and press releases

20 February 2020 |
Incident involving shooting of tear gas canisters next to school compound near ‘Checkpoint 160’ in H2, 6 March 2019.  © Photo by Christian Peace Makers Teams (CPT).

In September 2018, following an attack by Israeli settlers, Suhad and Ahmad concluded that their family could no longer stay in Tel Rumeida, located in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2).   Suhad and their three children left for another part of the city, while Ahmad has continued living in the same home, from where he runs his business. “Buying a new apartment was a huge economic effort, but I had to think of the welfare of my children.”.

12 February 2020 |
Palestinian boy sleeping inside his destroyed home in the Shuja’iyeh neighbourhood of Gaza City, September 2015. ©  Photo by Suhaib Salem

In 2019, over 700 Palestinians in Gaza were displaced following damage sustained to their homes during three limited escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. The past decade witnessed two rounds of large-scale hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza (in November 2012 and in July-August 2014)

19 November 2019 |
Rimas, 7, plays with her doll, at home in Jabalia on 21 August 2019. ©  Photo by Ahmed Mashharawi, NRC

Evictions have become routine for Eitidal, aged 30, a wife and mother of two daughters: Layali, 11, and Rimas, 7. Her husband, Medhat, 33, suffers from epileptic seizures and psychological problems, and has been unable to find regular employment. Over the past few years, the family has been evicted twice over accumulated, unpaid rent.

23 October 2019 |
Palestinian man herding his livestock outside of Khirbet ar Ras al Ahmar, Jordan Valley (3 October 2019).  ©  Photo by OCHA

Aziz, is a 25 years old Palestinian from Khirbet ar Ras al Ahmar, a small Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley. Over the past six years, Aziz has experienced four demolitions by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA). In February 2019, the ICA demolished seven structures belonging to Aziz, including the tents in which his family resides and shelters for his livestock. Rendered homeless, Aziz, his mother, brother and two sisters were forced to seek refuge in Tammum town (Tubas governorate) for a period of two weeks and leave his livestock behind, exposed to the harsh winter conditions.

9 August 2019 |
أفراد من عائلة صيام الكبيرة يشاهدون إخلاء أقاربهم من منزلهم، 10 تموز/يوليو 2019

It is estimated that 199 Palestinian households currently have eviction cases filed against them, the majority initiated by settler organizations, placing 877 people, including 391 children, at risk of displacement. Evictions can have a grave physical, social, economic and emotional impact on the affected families.

22 July 2019 |
Ghaleb Abu Hadwan, a 63-year-old Palestinian from Sur Bahir, sitting in his living room with family members a few days before the demolition, July 2019. Photo by OCHA

We are following with sadness today the Israeli authorities’ destruction of homes in the Palestinian community of Sur Bahir. Initial information emerging from the community indicates that hundreds of Israeli forces entered the community this morning and have demolished a number of residential buildings, including inhabited homes, located in Areas A, B and C of the West Bank on the East Jerusalem side of the Barrier. The large-scale operation began in the early hours of this morning while it was still dark, forcing families out of their homes, and causing great distress among residents. Among those forcibly displaced or otherwise impacted are Palestine refugees, some of whom today are facing the reality of a second displacement in living memory.