On 9 Oct. 2016, Israeli authorities demolished a total of 18 homes in the communities of al-Kurshan, near the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, and a-Ras al-Ahmar, in the Jordan Valley, leaving 52 people – including 23 minors – homeless. In the latter, they also demolished 17 livestock pens. In the massive demolition campaign it has waged since the beginning of 2016, Israel has thus far demolished 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving 1,062 people, including 553 minors, homeless.
On 27 Sept. 2016, Israel demolished 22 structures, half of them homes, in five West Bank communities: in the northern Jordan Valley, near Ma’ale Adumim, the South Hebron Hills, and East Jerusalem. This left 56 Palestinians, including 30 minors, homeless. The authorities also demolished water cisterns, livestock pens, and part of a school. This is part of a massive demolition campaign to pressure Palestinians to leave Area C that has, since the beginning of 2016, left 1,010 people homeless, including 530 minors.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 31 August 2016), military and Civil Administration forces arrived in the afternoon in the community of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat to the northwest of Jericho. The forces dismantled and confiscated three residential caravans, a shack used for raising livestock, and mobile toilet facilities. All the structures were donated to the families by a humanitarian aid organization after the Israeli authorities demolished their homes on 4 August 2016. The destruction left 14 people homeless, including three minors. Fatima Malihat, whose home was demolished, stated in her testimony to B'Tselem: “They don’t want us to stay here. They are fighting to stop us making a living. Where should we go? They have demolished our home several times and they chase us wherever we go. Our life has become bitter and dark and we haven’t had a single good day. We are afraid even to put up a tent because they will just destroy it. Where should we go? We don’t have anywhere to go. Wherever we go to, they expel us.”
On 29 August 2016, military and Civil Administration forces came to the community of M’azi Jaba’, one of several clusters of shepherding communities located to the northeast of Jerusalem, between the village of Jaba’ and the settlement of Adam (Geva Binyamin). The forces demolished four homes belonging to three families, as well as three structures used for raising and housing livestock, and left 28 people homeless, including 19 minors. Over the first seven months of 2016, the Israeli authorities have demolished a total of 203 homes throughout the West Bank, leaving 823 people homeless, including 423 minors. The scope of destruction witnessed during this period is the worst since B'Tselem began monitoring house demolitions on the grounds of “unauthorized construction” and reflects an intensification of Israel's campaign to displace Palestinians from Area C since the beginning of 2016.
In Jan.-June 2016, Israeli authorities demolished 168 dwellings in Palestinian communities in the West Bank, making 740 people homeless (incl. 384 minors), more than in any one year in the past decade (except 2013). Demolitions are carried out only in Area C, which comprises about 60% of the West Bank, and which Israel views as primarily meant to serve its own needs, and in East Jerusalem. Demolitions play a key role in Israeli policy in the West Bank to displace Palestinians and take over their land. Demolitions and devastating communities do not fulfill “the rule of law”. Rather, they are a longstanding, systematic dispossession to which all Israeli authorities are party.
On 14 June 2016, despite the 104°F heat in the Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities seized a tractor on which Palestinians from Khirbet Samrah depend to carry water to their flocks and delivered demolition orders for spring water reservoirs that are vital to the al-Malih Palestinian community. This conduct clearly illustrates Israel’s routine abuse of its power against Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, exacerbating the existing water shortage caused by the fact Israel does not allow them to connect to the water supply.
Today, Sunday, 19 June 2016, Civil Administration and military forces came to the Palestinian community of Wadi Ejheish, which is known as “south Susiya” as it lies some five kilometers south of the village of Khirbet Susiya. The forces demolished the homes of two families that number 21 people in total, including four women and 14 minors. The forces also demolished two livestock pens. One of the demolished homes had been donated by a humanitarian aid agency.
Yesterday, 5 June 2016, Civil Administration and Border Police forces arrived at the Wadi al-Qatif (Satah al-Bahar) community, which is located along Route No. 1 between the settlement of Mitzpe Yeriho and a-Nabi Musa. They dismantled and confiscated seven pre-fabs donated several weeks ago by a humanitarian aid agency to replace old huts. Six of the pre-fabs were being used as living quarters by six families, totaling 26 individuals, including 13 minors. The seventh pre-fab was being used as a day care center for 12 of the community’s children. The residents of the community live in an area the Israeli military has defined a closed military zone since the early 1980s.
On 26 May 2016, Civil Administration (CA) personnel arrived at five Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley and notified 58 families that they must vacate their homes for varying stretches of time from 30 May to 1 June, due to military training scheduled in the area. On all three training days, CA and military personnel came to the communities to ensure that the residents had indeed vacated their homes and gone some distance from the area. In the communities of ‘Ein al-Meyteh, al-Burj and Khirbet al-Malih, 27 families were temporarily displaced for nine hours. In Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar, 14 families were made to leave their homes and stay away from the area, some on all three days and some only on one, for nine to 14 hours at a time. The community of Khirbet Humsah was particularly harshly treated: 19 families were temporarily displaced for many hours on all three days; on one, they were made to remain far from home at night, too, and on another they were only allowed to return home at midnight.
On Monday, 16 May 2016, a large force of Civil Administration and Border Police personnel arrived in the Badu al-Baba community, near al-‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces dismantled and confiscated ten trailers, which were home to 49 people, including 23 minors. The trailers were recently donated by a humanitarian aid agency to families who had until then lived in tin and wood shacks. The community has about 350 members, roughly half of them minors, and lives in the area designated by Israel as Area E1, where it plans to expand the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim to create a contiguous urban link to Jerusalem. The Civil Administration put this territory under the jurisdiction of the Ma’ale Adumim municipality. The Civil Administration previously demolished structures in the community on 21 January 2016.
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.