NEW YORK, 18th February, 2016 (WAM) — A senior United Nations humanitarian official has called for an immediate halt to the destruction of Palestinian-owned property in the occupied West Bank and for respect for international law.

“The number of demolitions for just the first six weeks of 2016 is greatly alarming,” said Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid for the occupied Palestinian territory, in a press release.

“Over 400 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes, equivalent to over half the total number of Palestinians displaced in all of 2015,” he added.

According to the UN, between 1st January and 15th February, Israeli forces destroyed, dismantled or confiscated 283 homes and other structures, displacing 404 Palestinians, including 219 children, and affecting another 1,150 Palestinians, who lost structures related to their source of income.

Over 100 of the demolished structures were already provided as humanitarian assistance to families in need, often in the wake of an earlier demolition. These incidents reportedly occurred in 41 Palestinian locations, many in Palestinian Bedouin or herder communities in Israeli-controlled Area C.

WAM/AAMIR/Moran