Updates

Planning & building in Area C

This morning, 19 October 2017, at 10:30 AM, Civil Administration officials together with a military detail, arrived at the community of Khirbet al-Halawah, in the Masafer Yatta region in the south Hebron Hills. The forces demolished the homes of two families, leaving 18 people, including eight minors, homeless. The demolition was captured on video by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah. Residents in the area have been victims of repeated harassment by the Israeli authorities, who declared a large part of the area as a firing zone in the late 70s, and have been working to expel residents ever since.

Still from video filmed by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah.
October 19

This morning, at around 7:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, together with security forces and four bulldozers arrived at the Badu al-Baba community near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces destroyed three pre-fab homes that housed four families, leaving 27 people, including 18 children and youths, homeless. The forces also demolished two bathroom stalls donated by a humanitarian aid organization. The most recent abuse the community was subjected to by the authorities was on 11 September 2017 when forces confiscated equipment used to repair the community’s access road.

Resident of Dul-Baba near the ruins of his home today. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 16 October 2017
October 16

On Tuesday, 26 September, Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, 37, from Beit Surik carried out an attack in the settlement of Har Adar, killing a Border Police officer and two settlement security guards: Sgt. Solomon Gavryia, 20, Yusef Othman, 25 and Or Arish, 25. Border Police officers and the settlement security coordinator – who himself had been moderately hurt during the incident according to the police – shot and killed Jamal. Immediately following the attack, the military implemented punitive measures against the residents of nine villages in the area of Beit Surik, northwest of Jerusalem, totaling about 40,000 people. The military’s actions included raids on villages and homes, damaging property in some cases, scores of arrests, as well as movement restrictions.

Palestinians watch the Israeli military arrive at the family home of the person who carried out the attack in the settlement of Har Adar. Photo by Ammar Awad, Reuters,
September 28

B'Tselem Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad said, following the State's response submitted earlier today to the High Court of Justice, that the state was asking the court to authorize a war crime: "No sanctimonious language about a ‘planning, proprietary and realistic’ alternate, or ‘time to prepare’ can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons, and forcible transfer is a war crime. Those responsible for it will bear personal criminal liability – exactly as B’Tselem stated two weeks ago, in a letter addressed to the prime minister, defense minister, justice minister, chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration."

September 24

Civil Administration signals it is prepared to move forward with the forcible transfer of the entire community, an intention unequivocally stated by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to reporters two weeks ago. Doing so would constitute a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

September 14

Yesterday, 10 Sept. 2017, Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with security forces to the community of Badu al-Baba that lies near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem, and confiscated two trucks with building material donated by an aid organization for fixing the access path to the community. The forces slashed the community’s main water pipe, leaving residents without water, and damaged its power network. This follows the confiscation of the community’s preschool in late August.

The road leading to Badu al-Baba. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 21 August 2017
September 11

On 8 Sept. 2017, at about 3:00 P.M., a military force came with a bulldozer to the dirt road that connects the town of Yatta with the villages of Masafer Yatta, dug it up and blocked it off with rocks. The destruction of the road, which had been renovated just a day earlier with aid funding, forces villagers to now take a long detour. Masafer Yatta, which extends southeast of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, is home to more than 1,000 people which Israel has been trying to expel for many years, including by declaring the area Firing Zone 918.

Still from video
September 11

Yesterday, 4 September, B’Tselem sent a grave letter to Israel’s prime minister and other top Israeli officials, cautioning that demolition of the Palestinian communities of Susiya and Khan al-Ahmar as planned would constitute a war crime for which they would bear personal liability. B’Tselem made the unusual move after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the press last week that “work was being done to implement plans to evacuate the Palestinian villages of Sussia in the South Hebron Hills and Khan al-Ahmar near Ma’aleh Adumim within a few months.”

September 5

On Thursday, 31 August 2017, at 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with 25 Border Police officers to the Palestinian community of Tublas, which lies in Area C, along the main road that connects Hizma to ‘Anata north of Jerusalem. The community numbers some 60 people, about half of them minors. The forces demolished and confiscated a 48-square-meter pre-fab donated by a humanitarian organization that home to a family of five, including three minors.

The concrete platform on which the confiscated pre-fab stood. Photo by Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Azaydat, owner of the pre-fab, 31 August 1997
September 3

On Jul. 19, military and Civil Administration forces confiscated two water tanks in Kh. Tall al-Himma in the northern Jordan Valley, along with a pump from a spring used as the community’s main source of water. Solar panels were confiscated there on Jul. 5. The forces then cut a pipe used to bring water from a natural spring to a reservoir in the community of Kh. Um al-Jmal, used for livestock and irrigation. The cruel treatment of these communities, which Israel refuses to connect to the water system, is particularly brazen in the current scorching heat of the Jordan Valley.

The confiscation in h. Tall al-Himma today. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem.
July 19

The Palestinian village of Jub a-Dib near Bethlehem has existed since 1929, yet Israel refuses to hook it up to the power grid. In late 2016, thanks to international aid, 96 solar panels were installed providing the 160 residents with regular electricity for the first time. Israel confiscated the panels on 28 June 2017. This is another example of Israel’s systematic abuse of Area C Palestinians, denying them basic services and confiscating or destroying alternatives provided by aid organizations.

The village of Jub a-Dib and the solar panels installed by Comet-ME, before they were confiscated. Photo by Guy Butavia, Ta'ayush, 9 March 2017
July 17

Today, Wednesday 5 July 2017, Civil Administration officials and the military came to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Tall al-Himma (Khallet Hamad) in the northern Jordan Valley, south of the community of ‘Ein al-Beida. They confiscated two solar panels used by five families, numbering 25 people, including 15 minors. The panels had been donated by a humanitarian aid organization in March 2017, after Israeli authorities confiscated the pre-fab one of the families had been living in.

CA confiscates solar panels from Tall al-Himma, 5 July 2017. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
July 5

Yesterday, 27 May 2017, “The Invisible Walls of Occupation” was announced as winner of the Best Interactive Experience Award at the T.O. WebFest 2017, a Toronto festival dedicated to web-based content. Viewers of the interactive documentary, which illustrates various aspects of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation, are invited on a virtual tour of the Palestinian village of Burqah. The project was co-produced by B’Tselem and Canadian digital studio Folklore, and is based on a B’Tselem report by the same name.

May 28

The new “construction policy” the PM presented to the security cabinet yesterday spells out continued harm to Palestinians, settlement expansion, and breach of international law. Israel granted itself permission itself to go on stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank while barring and demolishing construction by Palestinians. This policy means that Israel will go on building as it pleases, both in and outside settlements, in complete disregard of UNSCR 2334 on the illegality of the settlement enterprise. This policy is no show of good faith; it is unbridled theft masquerading as “restrained construction.”

March 31

Yesterday, Tuesday 14 March 2017, Civil Administration personnel came to the region of the Furush Beit Dajan community. The settlement of Hamra had been established near the community in the 1970s. The Civil Administration confiscated a trailer which served as home to a nine-person family, including two minors. In addition, they demolished a covered shelter owned by two of the community’s families which was being used as a fresh produce market stall, and also ruined the fruits and vegetables on sale there.

Still from video
March 15

In Jan. and Feb. 2017 Israeli authorities demolished water supply infrastructure in two West Bank areas. In the southern West Bank: 8 cisterns used by farmers and shepherds. In the Jordan Valley: authorities twice demolished a pipe supplying water to three small farming and shepherding communities. Since occupying the West Bank 50 years, Israel has controlled most of its water resources and ignored the severe shortages suffered by local Palestinian communities. It promotes only infrastructure that serves settlers, and demolishes facilities developed by Palestinians in Area C, in order to force them out of the area.

A Civil Administration bulldozer demolishing a water cistern in the community of Khashm a-Daraj-Khashm al-Karem in the South Hebron Hills on 27 Feb. 2017. Still from video.
February 28

In Jan. and Feb. 2017 Israeli authorities demolished water supply infrastructure in two West Bank areas. In the southern West Bank: 8 cisterns used by farmers and shepherds. In the Jordan Valley: authorities twice demolished a pipe supplying water to three small farming and shepherding communities. Since occupying the West Bank 50 years ago, Israel has controlled most of its water resources and ignored the severe shortages suffered by local Palestinian communities. It promotes only infrastructure that serves settlers, and demolishes facilities developed by Palestinians in Area C, in order to force them out of the area.

A Civil Administration bulldozer demolishing a water cistern in the community of Khashm a-Daraj-Khashm al-Karem in the South Hebron Hills on 27 Feb. 2017. Still from video.
February 28

This morning, 20 Feb. 2017, the Civil Administration demolished the home of an elderly woman – a trailer donated by a humanitarian aid organization – in the Palestinian community of al-Mehtiwish, which lies near Khan al-Ahmar on land Israel earmarked for expanding the Maale Adumim settlement. The CA also demolished a water pipe in the Jordan Valley which residents of Khirbet al-Hadidiyah and Khirbet Humsah had laid with the help of humanitarian organization, as Israel refuses to hook up these communities to the water grid. The pipe had been restored by residents after being demolished by the CA on 10 Jan. 2017.

Local resident near the ruins of the trailer home the Civil Administration demolished. Photo by Hussam ‘Abed, B’Tselem, 20 Feb. 2017
February 20

Yesterday, 19 February 2017, large numbers of Civil Administration personnel and police arrived at the Khan al-Ahmar community, which is located near the settlement of Maale Adumim. They served 39 stop-work orders (a preamble step preceding demolition orders) , which apply to all of the community’s buildings, including its school. The school was built in 2009 and also serves children from other nearby communities. Khan al-Ahmar is situated in an area Israel earmarked for the future expansion of Maale Adumim. In 2016, Israeli authorities demolished 12 dwellings in the community, rendering 60 people homeless, including 35 minors.

Civil Administration worker posting a stop-work order on a Khan al-Ahmar structure. Still from footage by B’Tselem field researcher Hussam ‘Abed, 19 Feb. 2017
February 20

Today, 13 February 2017, B’Tselem released a new interactive documentary entitled “The Invisible Walls of Occupation”. Viewers are invited on a virtual tour of the Palestinian village of Burqah, a rural suburb of the city of Ramallah that has become cut off from its urban center through various restrictions imposed by Israel. The documentary has Burqah residents leading viewers on a virtual tour of their village. The project depicts the story of the village and illustrates various aspects of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation. The project was co-produced by B’Tselem and Canadian digital studio Folklore, and is based on a B’Tselem report by the same name.

February 16