Updates

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

On 22 July 2017, three residents of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley were grazing their flocks on nearby pastureland when a dud - unexploded munitions - went off, killing ‘Udai Nawaj’ah, 16. At least two other Palestinians have been killed in the Jordan Valley in similar circumstances since 2014. The military trains close to Palestinian communities as part of a policy aimed at taking over the area, and does not make sure to remove unexploded ammunition. This illegal practice violates the residents’ rights and endangers their lives.

'Udai Nawaj'ah, 16. Photo courtesy of the family.
October 17

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

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

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, 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

Yesterday, Sunday 10 Sept. 2017, the military confiscated two commercial vehicles and a truck in the agricultural areas to the west of the Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley from families employed by the landowners in the area as agricultural workers. A few days ago, on 6 September 2017, Civil Administration forces came to the same community and confiscated a tractor and a welding machine and a bus used for transporting agricultural workers to farms in the area. All the confiscations were undertaken on the pretext if presence in a “firing zone,” without issuing confiscation orders.

The confiscation of vehicles in the fields of Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar today. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 10 September 2017
September 10

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

Israeli forces raid two Palestinian Jordan Valley communities in past two months, uprooting and confiscating trees and ruining fields on Palestinian-owned land. Over 75% of Jordan Valley lands have been taken over by Israel, with 150,000 hectares transferred to settlement regional councils. In recent years, Israel has increased efforts to expel local Palestinian communities. Palestinians now own a minute portion of Jordan Valley lands, yet Israel harasses them even there.

A bulldozer hauling date palms uprooted by the Civil Administration. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 5 April 2017
June 20

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

On 3 Apr. 2017, the Civil Administration used bulldozers to uproot 135 olive saplings in Wadi Qana, near Qaliqiliyah, on land owned by Palestinians from Deir Istiya. In 1983, the CA declared the valley the Nahal Qana Reserve, and in recent years, Israeli authorities have been pushing to exclude Palestinian farmers from the wadi, and displace them using different practices, while giving settlers free reign. Like elsewhere in the West Bank, declaring land a nature reserve does not serve to protect nature, but to displace Palestinians in favor of Israeli interests.

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Aqel, one of the landowners, holding an uprooted seedling. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017
May 21

On 19 April 2017, in the Badu al-Baba community, northeast of Jerusalem, the CA demolished a 45-sqm pre-fab donated by an aid agency that served as home to a family of seven, including two minors. Their previous home had been demolished on 26 Jan. 2017. Badu al-Baba numbers some 350, about half of them minors and is in an area Israeli authorities designated for an expansion of the settlement of Maale Adumim so as to achieve a contiguous urban bloc from there to Jerusalem. The previous demolition there was on 26 Jan. 2017, when authorities demolished three families’ residential tents and two livestock pens.

Pre-fab homes at Badu al-Baba. Background: town of al-‘Eizariyah. Photo by ‘Amer ‘Aruri, B’Tselem, 9 August 2015
April 25

On 5 April 2017 the CA evacuated nine families from Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar, the northern Jordan Valley, from 5:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M. the next morning. Forty people, incl. about 15 minors, were forced to leave behind their sheep and property, to vacate their homes and spend the night out in the open. In 2016, families from the community were evacuated ten times on the same pretext. The repeated evacuations cause an intolerable disruption to daily life, are unjustified and unlawful. Israel must immediately stop the evacuations and all other measures it is taking to drive out residents of the Jordan Valley.

Security forces accompany a Kh. Ras al-Ahmar family being evacuated. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 5 April 2017
April 23

On the morning of Mon. 3 April 2017, the Civil Administration (CA) arrived at Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley and served nine families with evacuation orders from Wed. 5 April 2017 at 5:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. next morning. As a result, 40 people, incl. some 15 minors, will have to spend an entire night away from home. Last week, the CA served ten families with evacuation orders for Wed. afternoon to Thurs. morning. Yet no military training was then carried out on land near their homes and, contrary to past practice, the CA did not arrive to evacuate them. Residents remained in a state of uncertainty all night long, concerned they might be evacuated.

Military training in Khirbat Ras al-Ahmar, December 2016. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
April 4

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