Updates

House demolition

This morning, 31.8.2015, representatives of the Civil Administration arrived at the Al-Khdeirat Bedouin community, east of route 60, and demolished around 25 structures, which serve 11 families for residential and other purposes, leaving Around 100 persons homeless, including about 70 minors. These demolitions take part in the context of efforts by the military and the Civil Administration to push Palestinian communities out of Area C. These expulsion plans violate international humanitarian law, which prohibits the forcible transfer of protected persons, unless carried out for their own protection or for an imperative military need.

A family's possesions on the ground in the Palestinian community of al-Khdeirat this morning. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem
August 31

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.

The Daraghmeh family home in Khirbet Einun this morning, before and after demolition. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
August 20

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.

Demolitions in the village of Fasayil today. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
August 18

This morning, around 6am, civil Administration and army forces demolished the homes of four families numbering 32 people, of them 21 minorsat 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.

Demolitions in a-Sa'idi community this morning. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem
August 17

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.

Demolition in al-Aqaba, 5 Aug. 2015. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
August 9

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.

Nadia Abu al-Jamal and her children. Photo: courtesy of the family
July 29

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.

Police officer kicking Kifah Abu Khaled, still from video
June 25

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.

Nadia Abu al-Jamal and her children. Photo: courtesy of the family
June 18

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.

Cultivated farmland burnt as a result of the maneuvers. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 10 June 2015
June 10

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.

Video documentation of the demolition, filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 2 June 2015
June 9

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.

May 31

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.

The CA representative and soldiers near one of the village's structures. Photo credit: Nasser Nawaj'a, B'Tselem
May 10

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.

Khirbet Susiya, village facing threat of demolition. Photo: Ann Pack, Activestills.org, 15 June 2012
May 7

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.

Still from video.
March 30

On 18 March 2015 the Civil Administration demolished the tents of 4 of the 9 families in Khallet Makhul. It had previously demolished all structures there in 2013, which were then rebuilt by the residents who petitioned the HCJ, leading the CA agreed to allow the residents to apply for building permits. Approval for the applications is pending, so there is no authority for the current demolition, even by the CA’s regulations. Demolitions are part of a long-standing Israeli policy to displace thousands of Palestinians in Area C. Israel, as the occupying force, must allow the local population to carry on with their lives, allowing them to build legally and preserve their way of life.

Still from video footage of demolition, filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
March 25

This morning, Civil Administration bulldozers returned to the Jordan Valley, demolishing the homes of four families and farming structures in Khallet Makhul and a farming structure in the village of al-Hadidiyah. The Administration also confiscated two waters tanks in the 200-person village of al-Farisiyah, which is not connected to a water supply network. A more detailed report will follow B'Tselem's investigation of the incidents. Follow B'Tselem's Facing Expulsion Blog.

Demolition of structures in Khallet Makhul this morning. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
March 18

Mar. 4, Israeli authorities demolished all structures in Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the northern Jordan Valley, for the second time this year. Bulldozers raked the dirt road leading to the community, preventing access by car. This cruel harassment of a particularly vulnerable population is part of Israel’s policy aimed at displacing thousands of Palestinians from communities throughout Area C. B'Tselem urges Israel to allow residents of Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah to remain where they have lived and grazed their flocks for 25 years without interference.

The access road to the community, blocked by the Civil Administration. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
March 4

Last night (18 Aug.) the military demolished the homes of two of the suspects in the abduction and killing of the three yeshiva students, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, near Gush Etzion two months ago. The home of a third suspect was sealed. The homes were demolished after the HCJ denied three petitions filed by HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, leaving 23 innocent people, including 13 minors, without a roof over their heads. The HCJ's ruling is not surprising: for decades, the HCJ has denied the vast majority of the petitions filed against punitive house demolitions and refused to recognize the unlawfulness of this practice.

Boy trying to recover items from his home, demolished as a punitive measure in Bethlehem. Photo: Magnus Johansson, Reuters, 15 June 2004
August 18

It is unsurprising that the HCJ rejected HaMoked’s petition against demolition of the home of the 2 Palestinians charged with killing Baruch Mizrahi as it has rejected most such petitions against punitive home demolitions, refusing to recognize their unlawfulness. Since 1967 the military has rendered homeless thousands of people not themselves accused of wrongdoing. The military gave up this policy in 2005, yet the state considers it justified now in view of the circumstances. This unreasonable position is meant to sanction draconian measures of collective punishment in response to the charged public atmosphere in the wake of the abduction and killing of 3 yeshiva students.

The 'Awawdeh children in their house. 23 June 2014. Photo Manal al-Ja'abri, B'Tselem.
July 1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the family home of the two Palestinians indicted for the attack that killed Baruch Mizrahi be demolished. Two families numbering 13 individuals, including 8 children, live in that home. Demolition of the home would equal adoption of an official policy that harms the innocent. "We have nowhere else to go. If the house is demolished, we'll put a tent on top of the ruins and live there" said Hanan ‘Awawdeh to B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'abri, who visited her last week and took the photos. Following an urgent objection filed by Israeli human rights organization HaMoked, the military announced its intention to demolish only the section of the house. The military is set to carry out the demolition tomorrow, Monday, at 12:00 midday.

Inhabitants look at a room emptied in preparation for the demolition. Photo: Manal al-Ja'abri, B'Tselem
June 29