Since the beginning of the current strife in September 2000 until April 30 2003, a total of 12,737 people had seen their homes demolished in Gaza and the West Bank. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is responsible for the welfare for almost all of those affected, is trying to raise donor funds to replace the lost shelters in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Recent months have seen a sharp increase in house demolitions in the Gaza Strip. At the end of 2002, total and partial demolitions had until then averaged under 30 per month. In the first three months of 2003, 221 shelters were demolished or damaged beyond repair – making an average of 74 per month. These alone housed 401 families (2,273 persons). Demolitions often occur late at night with little or no warning. Israeli military units – supported by tanks, APCs and helicopters – enter Palestinian areas to destroy a variety of targeted houses.
UNRWA, Report, 7 May 2003