According to the UN, at least 70 people in the Bedouin community, including 41 children, have been displaced in the Humsa Al-Baqaia district.

The United Nations and European Security Council members called on Israel on Friday to stop the demolition of Bedouin settlements in the Jordan Valley and to grant humanitarian access to the community living in Humsa Al-Baqaia.

In a joint statement at the end of a monthly Security Council meeting on the Middle East conflict, Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom said they were “deeply concerned about the recent repeated destruction and seizure of property”. Including EU and donor funded structures implemented by Israeli authorities in Humsa Al-Baqaia in the Jordan Valley. “

It said concerns are also centered on the 70 or so people living in the Bedouin community, including 41 children.

“We repeat our call on Israel to stop demolitions and seizures,” the statement said.

“We also call on Israel to provide unrestricted, sustainable and unhindered humanitarian access to the community in Humsa Al-Baqaia.”

Humsa al-Baqia is located in the Jordan Valley, a fertile and strategic piece of land that stretches from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea and has proven to be a focal point in the battle for the West Bank.

The Jordan Valley is home to around 60,000 Palestinians, according to the United Nations, but nearly 90 percent of the land is part of what is known as Area C, the three-fifths of the West Bank, which is entirely under Israeli control.

It includes closed military areas and around 50 agricultural settlements that are home to around 12,000 Israelis.

Real estate seizure

Palestinians are excluded from these areas and from the countries that own them. They are prohibited from digging wells or building any type of infrastructure without obtaining difficult-to-obtain military permits.

From 2009 to 2016, less than 2 percent of the more than 3,300 permit applications in Area C were successful, according to Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group citing official statistics.

Anything built without a permit, from house extensions to tents, animal stalls and irrigation nets, is threatened with demolition by the Israeli military.

Israeli machines destroyed a Palestinian house in Area C near Yatta in the southern part of the city of Hebron in the West Bank last November [File: Hazen Bader/AFP]Almost 800 Palestinians, including 404 minors, lost their homes as early as 2020.

Throughout the previous year, 677 lost their homes – up from 387 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.

On Friday, the UN envoy for the region, Norwegian Tor Wennesland, also expressed concern about the destruction and land confiscation.

He said Israeli security forces demolished or confiscated “80 buildings in the Bedouin community” in an Israel-declared fire zone in the Jordan Valley.

He said the actions “63 people, including 36 children, were displaced multiple times and followed a similar demolition in November 2020”.

“I urge Israel to stop the demolition and seizure of Palestinian property throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and allow the Palestinians to develop their communities,” he said.

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