More demolitions this morning in the Jordan Valley and Ma’ale Adumim Area. Wave of demolitions, today, Apr. 7, in several West Bank communities including E1 and repeat demolitions in Khirbet Tana in the Jordan Valley. Earlier this week, the authorities demolished 6 dwellings in Um al-Kheir, South Hebron Hills, and 2 in Wadi al-Qalt. The recent action has left 43 people homeless, including 26 minors. It is part of a demolition campaign launched by Israel in early 2016, in which 128 dwellings and 138 other structures in vulnerable communities have already been destroyed, leaving 510 people, including 275 minors homeless.
On 22 March 2016, Civil Administration and military forces came to the communities of Khirbet Jenbah and a-Taban in Masafer Yatta, in the area the military has declared Firing Zone 918. In Khirbet Jenbah, the forces demolished a tent that was home to a family of six people, including four minors. The tent was donated to the family by an international humanitarian aid organization. The forces also demolished two livestock pens belonging to the family and confiscated a solar panel donated by an international humanitarian aid organization. The forces then continued to the community of Khirbet a-Taban, where they demolished another livestock pen. These structures were apparently not included in the orders prohibiting the demolition of additional structures in the communities. These orders were issued in February following petitions submitted by residents of the communities after demolitions undertaken by the authorities in the communities of Khirbet Jenbah and Khirbet al-Halawah on 2 Feb. 2016, when 22 dwellings in both communities were demolished. The latest demolitions in the two communities were carried out a day before the hearing held by the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on 23 March 2016 in a principled petition submitted by the residents of Masafer Yatta, after a mediation process between the residents and the state ended without agreements. The residents are opposing the authorities’ attempts to expel them from their land after declaring it a firing zone.
On Wednesday, 23 March 2016, Civil Administration and military forces came to Khirbet Tana to the east of Beit Furik and demolished 17 homes, 21 livestock pens, and five outhouses. The forces also blocked the entrances to five caves, demolished a water reservoir built with the assistance of a Palestinian association, and confiscated four cars belonging to residents on the grounds that they did not have a valid license. This is the third demolition operation in the village since the beginning of 2016. The previous demolitions were undertaken on 9 February 2016 and 2 March 2016. Six of the residential tents that were demolished were donated by an international humanitarian aid organization to families whose homes were demolished by the Civil Administration and the military on 2 March, while two of the outhouses demolished were donated by the European Union. The acts of destruction left 85 people homeless, including 30 minors.
The Israeli Civil Administration is demolishing structures in Khirbet Jenba, in the Masafer Yatta area of the Southern Hebron Hills. More info as we receive it. The residents view this move as a message from the authorities in the run up to tomorrow's high court hearing in their general petition against the attempt to forcibly transfer them from their land through the declaration of the area as "Firing Zone 918"
In the first week of March, authorities demolished 17 dwellings, 19 livestock pens, and a school in two Jordan Valley communities, rendering 64 people - incl. 28 minors - homeless. These actions are a direct continuation of the unusually massive demolition campaign authorities launched in Palestinian shepherding communities across the West Bank. Since Jan., authorities have dismantled and demolished 203 structures, including 105 dwellings, in communities threatened with expulsion; 435 people, including 234 minors, lost their homes. This consistently applied government policy constitutes the forced transfer of protected Palestinian residents in an occupied area.
This morning, 29 February 2016, Civil Administration (CA) and military personnel arrived at the community of Khallet Khader in the region of al-Farisiyah in the northern Jordan Valley. They demolished five dwelling tents, which were home to 19 people, including five minors. They also demolished three livestock pens in use by Khallet Khader families. The tents had been given to the families by the Red Cross after the CA demolished 21 structures in the community on 11 February 2016. The community of Khallet Khader is located in the region of al-Farisiyah, which the military had termed a firing zone, and near the settlements of Shadmot-Mehola and Rotem. The community’s residents are farmers and they raise goats and sheep. Some families live on site only for certain seasons of the year.
Additional demolitions since we reported the early 2016 demolition campaign: On Feb. 20, Israeli authorities confiscated two large caravans used for expanding the Abu a-Nuwar school, where some children study in other communities due to overcrowding. On Feb. 15, 32 structures, including 10 homes were demolished in Ein a-Rashash, leaving dozens homeless. These demolitions and confiscations are part of an unusually massive demolition campaign the Israeli authorities launched in Palestinian shepherding communities in the West Bank in Jan. 2016.
As of Jan. 2016 Israeli authorities stepped up efforts to expel Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills, Ma’ale Adumim area and the Jordan Valley, demolishing 73 homes and 51 other structures, some donated by aid agencies. Israel recently announced plans to demolish many more structures in Kh. Susiya, expel Abu a-Nuwar’s residents, and reported its failed mediation with Masafer Yatta. All are part of a policy whereby Area C is to serve Israel rather than West Bank Palestinians. Restrictions Israel imposes in Area C force all West Bank Palestinians to live in crowded enclaves without land reserves for building, farming, infrastructure, health and education services or freedom of movement.
Over three days during the past week, the authorities demolished 22 dwellings in the Jordan Valley, along with 41 other structures used for storage and livestock, leaving 59 people, including 28 minors without a roof over their heads.
In mid-Jan, 24 Palestinian families in the Jordan Valley were informed they would be temporarily displaced at month’s end for military training in the area. The evacuation was cancelled due to weather conditions, but the military did conduct training very close to one community, causing panic among residents, especially children, and crushing crops. Military training in the Jordan Valley is illegal. Israel must immediately stop it and all other measures employed in an attempt to force Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley out of 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.