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UN: Israel displaced 67 Palestinian refugees over week; more than 1500 displaced so far in 2012

12:00 Apr 22 2012 al-Khalayleh and Beit Hanina

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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel forcibly displaced 67 Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem over the last week, UN agencies said Sunday.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem's Beit Hanina. Jewish settlers moved into the homes the same day.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli authorities destroyed the homes of seven families in al-Khalayleh in East Jerusalem, displacing them for the third time in six months.

A day later, Israeli forces demolished and confiscated emergency tents provided to the families by humanitarian organizations, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Relief and Works Agency said in a joint statement.

UNRWA's director in the West Bank Felipe Sanchez said the forced evictions broke international law.

"We urge the Israeli authorities to find an immediate solution to enable the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank, to lead a normal life, in full realization of their rights," Sanchez said.

The head of OCHA's local office Ramesh Rajasingham added: "More than 1,500 Palestinians have lost their homes as a result of demolitions and evictions since the beginning of 2011.

"Forced evictions and demolitions cause extensive human suffering, increase humanitarian needs and vulnerability."
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