"Israel" conducts over 1,000 demolitions in West Bank since Biden took office
"Israel" has demolished more than twice as many Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank than it did at the start of US President Joe Biden's presidency.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the Israeli destruction of Palestinian-owned houses in the occupied West Bank has increased dramatically under US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's terms.
The United Nations' tally of demolitions carried out since Biden's inauguration surpassed 1,000 this week.
Over 1,300 Palestinians have been displaced by demolitions counted by the United Nations that counts each permanent closure or destruction of a residential or commercial property or vital piece of infrastructure in the 13 months since Biden took office.
Under former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a similar stage in President Donald Trump's presidency, Israeli officials had demolished 379 structures, displacing almost 600 Palestinians - less than half the number authorized by Biden and Bennett so far.
Bennett is speeding up these demolitions as a show of strength, according to Diana Buttu, a Palestinian Canadian lawyer and scholar at the Institute for Middle East Understanding, to stamp out any remaining hope that Palestinians might one day attain self-determination.
“Bennett’s making it clear that this is where the future [of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship] lies,” she told The Intercept. “The future lies in the Palestinians being cordoned off into these tiny little ghettos. And all the land surrounding these ghettos will slowly be taken — be stolen — for Israeli settlements.”
According to experts, Biden's failure to press Bennett on Palestinian rights has accelerated the pace of demolitions committed by the Israeli government. They argue that the US has significant leverage over "Israel" and that Biden could use it to stop the aggressive Israeli expansionism in the course of a single discussion.
“I don’t think it takes more than for him to pick up the phone and actually threaten [Bennett],” Buttu said. But the well-being of Palestinians has clearly been “put on the back burner” in favor of Biden’s desire to secure a new Iran nuclear deal and to project the sense that tensions in the region have calmed since the violence of last summer when Israeli attacks killed nearly 200 Palestinian civilians.
Buttu and other Palestinian rights activists say Biden's unwillingness to press Bennett undermines his ostensible support for a "two-state solution" and amounts to tacit acceptance of "Israel's" ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.