Largest Israeli Demolition in a Decade Leaves Dozens of Palestinians Homeless

Israeli demolitions in the West Bank reach four year high

On Tuesday, Israeli authorities carried out the largest single demolition of a Palestinian community in the West Bank in over a decade. The demolition left 73 people homeless, including 41 children.

Some residents suspect the Israelis used the US presidential election as cover to raze the village. “I am 99 percent certain this was taking advantage of the US elections … there were no journalists around,” Yasser Abu al-Kbash, a resident of the village, told NPR. “They bulldozed everything.”

More than 70 structures were destroyed in the village of Khirbet Humsah, a small rural community in the Jordan Valley. Eighteen tents that housed 11 families were destroyed, as well as sheds, livestock enclosures, portable toilets, water containers, and solar panels.

According to numbers from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Tuesday’s demolition was the single largest number of structures destroyed since July 19th, 2010. It was also the largest demolition in four years in terms of the number of Palestinians it displaced.

Before Tuesday’s demolition, the number of Israeli demolitions in occupied territories was already at a four-year high. Between January and September, at least 741 Palestinians have lost their homes. These numbers are the highest figures since 2016 when Israeli bulldozers left 1,496 Palestinians homeless.

This year has also seen a record number of plans approved for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. According to the Israeli NGO Peace Now, plans for 12,159 settler homes have been advanced in 2020, the highest number since President Trump took office in 2017. This year marked the most settlements advanced since Peace Now began recording in 2012.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.