By Qais Abu Samra <br>
RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Israeli authorities demolished 538 Palestinian homes in 2018, according to an NGO affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
According to a Friday report issued by the PLO's Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation, the demolitions were carried out in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The demolitions, the report stated, had left some 1,300 Palestinians — including 225 children — homeless.
The report goes on to note that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian property have increased by 24 percent this year compared to 2017.
The Israeli authorities frequently raze the family homes of Palestinians allegedly involved in attacks on Israelis — a policy rights groups decry as “collective punishment”.
Israel also prevents Palestinians from carrying out construction projects in parts of the West Bank designated as “Area C” under the Oslo agreement.
Signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, the agreement divided the occupied West Bank — including East Jerusalem — into Areas A, B and C.
Area A falls under the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s administrative and security control; Area B under the PA’s administrative control and Israeli security control; and Area C under Israel’s exclusive administrative and security control.