At around 9:00 o’clock this morning, Tuesday 20 February 2018, Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a bulldozer and a police escort (Border Police and Israel Police) to the community of Jabal al-Baba, which is located near the town of ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces demolished the shack that served as the home of the Abu ‘Aweidah family, thereby leaving the 13-person family – including 10 minors – without a home. In the course of carrying out the demolition, the troops arrested a community resident who lives near the family. This is the second time in less than six months that the Civil Administration has demolished the Abu ‘Aweidahs’ home, having demolished their home on 15 October 2017, along with three other homes. There are several demolition and demarcation orders currently pending against the community, whose residents have been obliged to wage a protracted legal battle to counter the authorities’ attempts to forcibly displace them. Since 2006, Israel has demolished 33 structures in the community, 27 of them had served as homes to 136 people, including 73 minors.
On Monday morning, 5 Feb. 2018, Civil Administration personnel and a Border Police force came to the area of Khirbet a-Sakut in the northern Jordan Valley, near the settlement of Mehola. They brought a bulldozer, a truck and crane with them. The force dismantled and confiscated a water pipeline about 400 meters long that had served to irrigate the watermelon patch of Tubas resident Bassem Fuqahaa (62). In a testimony Fuqahaa gave that day to B’Tselem field researcher ‘Aref Daraghmeh, he related: “It looks like the confiscation was well-planned. They came to take away the pipeline on the very day I planted the seeds. Why didn’t they give me prior warning? They made me lose all the money I invested and left the patch without irrigation.”At around 4:00 P.M. that day, the troops went to the community of Khirbet Um al-Jamal, to the south, and confiscated four unassembled tents that served as the seasonal home of a local family. The tents had been donated to the family by a humanitarian aid organization after the Civil Administration had demolished the family’s tents on an earlier occasion. The troops also confiscated rolls of barbed-wire and bolts of cloth used for tent maintenance.
* The original update erroneously stated that the tents were currently in use.
This morning, 4 Feb. 2018, at about 5:00 AM, Civil Administration officials and security forces arrived at the Abu a-Nawar community in some 20 jeeps. The forces demolished two buildings at the community’s school that were used by some 25 children in the 3rd and 4th grades. The officials declared the area a closed military zone and demolished the classrooms, which were funded by the European Union and the Palestinian Authority. Over recent months the residents of Abu a-Nawar have pursued a legal struggle to regulate the buildings in their community, including the classrooms, which were demolished before the legal proceeding in their case was completed. The demolition order for the classrooms was issued in December, and since then the students have been learning at the community’s guesthouse. The demolition of educational buildings is one of the means Israel uses in its attempt to expel Palestinian communities from their homes, so that it can concentrate the residents in enclaves and use the territory for its own needs.
At 10:30 this morning, Israeli Civil Administration personnel arrived with troops and bulldozers at the community of ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the northern Jordan Valley, and demolished a tent used as the home of the last remaining family in the community. Also demolished were three sheep pens belonging to this family, which has six members in total, including three minors. The troops also demolished a residential tent belonging to a family that no longer lives at the site and two more sheep pens, and dug up the dirt road leading to the community to make it unusable. Until April 2017, three families, with a total of 30 members lived in the community, but because of the unceasing harassment by Israeli authorities - including 14 demolitions since 2014 - the two other families left. Earlier today, at around eight A.M., the forces came to the a-Shuna community in the Jiftlik area and demolished a concrete residential structure which was still under construction.
Video footage by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem
On 28 December 2017, at approximately 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with Border Police officers to the Khan al-Ahmar School community in the area of Ma’ale Adumim, handed the residents a military warrant and took away 60 wooden panels and two doors. The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in an area that Israel has earmarked for future expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. Later that day, at around 1:00 P.M., Civil Administration officials came with Border Police officers to another community in Khan al-Ahmar, a-Tabneh, and confiscated 10 tin panels and four packs of iron bars that are used to erect temporary structures for events. Read all reports on Khan al-Ahmar here.
For over a month the military has been curtailing the movement of the Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta) in the South Hebron Hills by putting in place physical obstacles. Local residents occasionally managed to forge side paths to get through, and each time the soldiers restored the obstacle either the same day or the next. This morning, 26 December 2017, at around 10:00 A.M., soldiers arrived in the area with bulldozers. They re-blocked paths the Palestinian residents forged between Masafer Yatta and the community of Sh’ab al-Botum. This time the soldiers also piled up mounds of boulders and dug a ditch – two meters deep, by three meters wide – to keep vehicles from getting though. In addition, the troops also dug another ditch along a road which had not previously been blocked, and which runs between the communities of Khallet a-a-Dabe’ and Khribet al-Fakhit.
This morning, 13 December 2017, residents of the Abu a-Nuwar community found a demolition order that had been placed inside the fourth-grade classroom in one of the school’s buildings. None of the residents saw any security forces in the community, and when the order was placed there is unknown. The order states that if the School owner does not remove it in 72 hours, the authorities will demolish it, at the owners' expense. 72 None of the residents saw any security forces in the community, and when the order was placed there is unknown. The community has about 650 residents, about half of them are children and youths. It lies southwest of al-'Eizariyah, in the area Israeli authorities have designated as E1. It is flanked by settlements on both sides, Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim. The school has two buildings, an old one, which houses the kindergarten and first and second grades – a total of 72 students. The second structure is newer, built in late September 2017, and houses grades three to four, with 25 students. On 7 October 2017, Civil Administration officials, accompanied by security forces, confiscated the doors to these two classrooms. Last summer, military forces arrived at the school, declared it a closed military zone and confiscated solar panels that supplied power to the school and the community’s guesthouse.
Since 9 Nov. 2017, the military has restricted movement in four communities in the Masafer Yatta region of the South Hebron Hills, which are home to some 600 people. The roads connecting the communities and leading to the main road have been blocked off, forcing residents to walk a fair distance to the main road. These communities have been suffering incessant harassment for decades: Israel will not allow them to connect to infrastructure and repeatedly demolishes their homes, in an attempt to drive them out of the area.
Today, at 8:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, accompanied by Border Police officers, arrived at the community of Tublas, located on the side of the main road between Hizma and Anata, north of Jerusalem. The forces demolished and confiscated at tin shack which was the home of a five-person family, including three minors. The shack had been donated by the European Union. This is the second time the Civil Administration has demolished the family’s home. On 31 August 2017, it demolished and confiscated another shack donated to the family by the European Union.
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: a concrete structure built with the help of a contribution from the European Union, and a cinder block structure with plastic sheeting for a roof. The forces left two families homeless. One family has 15 members, including seven children and teenagers, and the other is a family of three, including one minor. As they were leaving the area, the forces passed near the village of a-Tuwani and demolished a shed used by a village resident. In the late 1970s, the military declared a large area in the Masafer Yatta region, which is home to twelve Palestinian communities, as “Firing Zone 918”, and in the 1990s, it expelled residents from their homes. These residents were permitted to return thanks to an injunction issued by the High Court of Justice in response to several petitions, which forbade the state from demolishing the homes pending resolution of the petitions. However, the authorities have since repeatedly harassed residents of the area in an attempt to expel them from their homes. In early 2016, the Civil Administration demolished structures in this and in another community in the area.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.