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.
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.
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.