In the early hours of 13 January 2016, representatives of the Civil Administration and the military came to the Palestinian community of Khirbet a-Rahwa, which lies south of the town of a-Dahariya and close to the settlement Tene. The force demolished a tent that was home to a family of nine, including seven minors, and a livestock pen that belongs to the family. The force also confiscated a solar panel donated to the family by humanitarian aid organizations. The family’s tent had already been demolished a year ago and re-erected since.
Op-ed by Yael Stein, Director of B'Tselem’s Research Dept., first published in Ynetnews. In response to allegations that torture was used in interrogating the suspects in the torching of the Dawabsheh family home that killed three people, PM Netanyahu was quick to reassure: “All the investigations are being conducted in accordance with the law”. The question is not whether a given act is in accordance with a specially tailored law. The fact that something is legal does not make it justifiable. Sometimes the fact that something is legal serves only to illustrate the bankruptcy of legislative mechanisms.
Today, Dec. 3, Civil Administration personnel and soldiers confiscated seven tents donated to the al-Hadidiyah community by the French aid organization ACTED. Residents were already living in four of the tents confiscated, which were erected after the authorities demolished and confiscated tents on three separate occasions during the last week. 15 people, including four minors, were left with no shelter against the rain and cold. The Israeli authorities’ continued harassment of the residents of al-Hadidiyah is part of their ongoing efforts to expel Palestinian communities from Area C.
On 30 Nov., Israeli authorities confiscated tents given by aid organizations to the al-Hadidiyah community in the northern Jordan Valley, following an earlier demolition that left 15 people, including 4 minors, homeless and the dirt road to the community severely damaged. This is the latest step in ongoing harassment of this community. Hiding behind building laws, Israel is pursuing a policy of expelling Palestinians from Area C by making life there unbearable, which amounts to the forcible transfer of protected persons in occupied territory.
On 3 Sept. 2015 the Civil Administration demolished structures belonging to 3 families of the Ka’abneh tribe in a Bedouin community east of the village a-Taybah, Ramallah District. Two families (10 people, incl. 6 minors) lost two residential structures and one livestock pen. CA and military personnel also demolished 4 livestock structures belonging to a third family. This action comes on the heels of an unusually large-scale demolition campaign in August, in which Israeli authorities demolished the homes of 228 individuals, including 124 minors. Demolitions are part of efforts by the CA and the military to force Palestinian communities out of Area C. This government policy constitutes the forcible transfer of protected Palestinians in an occupied territory.
The data we released regarding the demolition that took place on 31.8.2015 at the Al-Khdeirat Bedouin community contained numerous essential errors. Following is the correct data : The Civil Administration and the military demolished 15 structures, ten of them were residential, and five were used for livestock, not twenty five, as we originally said. Click to view full data.
In August 228 people - including 124 minors – lost their homes in a demolition spree in the West Bank by Israeli authorities. Most demolitions were carried out in small shepherding communities which face the constant threat of expulsion from Area C. Under the guise of enforcing construction laws, Israel pursues a policy to minimize Palestinian presence in Area C by making life there unbearable. This policy, systematically implemented for years, constitutes the forcible transfer of protected persons inside an occupied territory, be it directly – through the demolition of homes – or indirectly, by creating an intolerable reality.
Today, 20 Aug. 2015, the Israeli authorities left 19 persons, including 10 minors, in conditions of extreme heat without any solution. This is the third time this week the authorities have demolished homes and income generating structures in area C. The wave of demolitions left dozens of people homeless in the extreme August heat. Since 5 Aug. 2015, the Civil Administration has demolished 34 residential buildings and 31 other structures in Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, in the vicinity of Ma’ale Adumim, and in the southern Hebron hills. A total of 167 people have lost their homes in these actions, including 101 minors.
This morning the Civil Administration demolished 17 home and 7 structures for livestock in the village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley, leaving 48 people, 31 of them minors homeless. Israel prevents Palestinians in the community from establishing permanent homes and connecting them to water and electricity infrastructures, thereby leaving them exposed to harsh weather conditions. Since 5 Aug. 2015, the Civil Administration has demolished 31 residential buildings and 26 other structures in Palestinian communities in area C. A total of 167 people have lost their homes in these actions, including 101 minors.
This morning, around 6 A.M., the Civil Administration and military demolished the homes of four families numbering 32 people, of them 21 minors at the a-Sa'idi community, near a-Za'ayem. The forces then moved to the Abu-Falah community, in the Khan al-Ahmar area, and demolished a residential shack housing two people and a structure used to house guests. Later the authorities demolished 12 structures in the adjacent Bir al-Maksub and Wadi Shneisel communities, nine of them residential homes. Authorities leave the residents and herds with no shelter in harsh weather conditions.
The uproar over the rare demolition of structures in the settlement of Beit El has died down, and the Civil Administration (CA) resumed its routine work of demolishing structures in Palestinian communities. On Wednesday, 5 August 2015, CA personnel came with a military escort to demolish structures in three Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley: In al-‘Aqabah they demolished the home of a five-person family and five structures used for storage and livestock; in ‘Ein al-Meyteh they demolished three residential tents and four structures used for raising livestock; in Khirbet Yarza they demolished a livestock pen.
On 22 Jul. 2015 the HCJ okayed deportation of Nadia Abu al-Jamal and her 3 children from their E. J’alem home as punishment for an attack her husband perpetrated. The justices denied the petition filed by NGO HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual on behalf of Abu al-Jamal. Deportation would not have been possible had not successive Israeli governments, with the approval of the HCJ, created an impossible reality in Jerusalem that forced Abu al-Jamal to live as a stranger in her husband’s home, in a spot not far from her childhood home. The two homes had been a part of the same community until Israel occupied the area and split it up.
On 2 June 2015 the Jerusalem Municipality bulldozers with police escort, arrived to the Abu Khaled family home in Silwan, to demolish two apartments built by the family. The family had no choice but to build without a permit since Jerusalem Municipality policy is to deny permits to residents of this and other Palestinian neighborhoods. One family member climbed to the roof to try to prevent the demolition. He was pepper-sprayed, forcibly taken off the roof, and arrested by the police. Relatives who demanded his release were also attacked with pepper-spray and physical violence. City workers demolished the two apartments.
Since the Nov. 2014 attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in which Palestinians killed four worshippers and wounded seven, the authorities have threatened punitive action against the assailants’ families: demolition of the homes and deportation the wife of one of them, Nadia Abu al-Jamal. She and her children may be cut off from family and friends and denied many official services. The children would lose their state health insurance. Israel must stop punitive measures against family members who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Yesterday, 10 June, the military again evacuated Palestinian residents of Khirbet Humsah from their homes for 7 hours so soldiers could train on their land. The residents returned to find their farmland burnt and unexploded ammunition nearby. They are to be evacuated again on 16 June. The military also served three other communities in the area, similarly evacuated last month, with evacuation orders for 11 and 17 June. Israel must immediately stop this and other actions taken as part of the policy to expel Palestinians from the Jordan Valley.
On 4 June 2015, Civil Administration officials demolished five tents and several livestock pens in the Palestinian shepherding community of al-Mukasar in the northern Jordan Valley. Aid organizations provided the families who were left homeless with new tents. This latest act is part of a longstanding Israeli policy to displace thousands of Palestinians who live in dozens of small communities throughout Area C, to enable de facto annexation of this part of the West Bank to Israel.
The High Court of Justice is enabling the Civil Administration to demolish the village of Khirbet Susyiya, in effect ejecting the residents from their land, even as their petition appealing the rejection of their master plan for the village is still pending. At any moment, the Civil Administration might now demolish the village homes, leaving the residents with no shelter in harsh desert conditions. This mode of operation by the Israeli authorities allows them to take over additional lands and drive out communities from Area C. The absence of official annexation aside, the reality of the matter is that annexation and dispossession are already here in actual fact.
A Civil Administration representative accompanied by soldiers arrived this morning at Khirbet Susiya, the South Hebron Hills and photographed and measured structures there. Based on past experience, residents fear the CA is preparing to demolish the village shortly and eject them from their land. This further to Justice Sohlberg’s decision to not issue an interim injunction on demolitions as sought by the residents in a petition that argued that the CA rejected their master plan for immaterial reasons. This harsh, unlawful move is part of Israel’s policy in Area C to facilitate the takeover of Palestinian land for settlements and the removal of Palestinian communities from Area C to Areas A and B in preparation for the annexation of lands to Israel.
At any moment, the Civil Administration might demolish all homes in Khirbet Susiya, expelling the residents from their land. This follows a decision by Israel's High Court of Justice to not issue an interim order to prevent the demolition, given in a petition filed by the residents and Rabbis for Human Rights arguing that the CA rejected their master plan for unprofessional reasons, using a double standard and discriminating against Palestinians. This harsh, illegal move is part of Israel’s policy in Area C to facilitate annexation of lands to Israel.
Palestinian women from Beit Hanoun found shelter with their families at an UNRWA school. They tell of the rough living conditions after losing their homes and speak of their hopes for the future. According to UN figures for Beit Hanoun, 90 homes were destroyed and 24 others damaged during Operation Protective Edge.