UN Chief Ban Ki-moon
UN Chief Ban Ki-moonIsrael News photo: Flash 90

The United Nations on Friday called for an immediate end to Israel’s demolition of homes belonging to Palestinian Authority Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

In a statement, Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Judea and Samaria and Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said, “Israel, as the occupying Power, has a fundamental responsibility to protect the Palestinian civilian population under its control and to ensure their dignity and well-being.”

He added, “The wholesale destruction of their homes and livelihoods is not consistent with that responsibility or humanitarian ideals,” he said.

Gaylard’s statement made no mention of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, nor did it mention the demolitions of Jewish homes in the area.

The statement came a day after that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a new report showing that almost 1,100 PA Arabs, over half of them children, were displaced due to home demolitions in Judea and Samaria.

Gaylard said that these figures represent a dramatic increase compared with previous years, and that a much greater number, in the tens of thousands, remain under threat of dispossession, demolition and displacement.

“The current policy and practice of demolitions cause extensive human suffering and should end,” he stated. “Palestinians urgently require ready access to a fair and non-discriminatory planning and zoning system that meets their needs for growth and development.”