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.
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.
On Wednesday, 9 August 2017, at about 1:00 P.M., dozens of Civil Administration officials and Border Police arrived at Abu a-Nuwar, a Palestinian community which Israel refuses to hook up to the power grid. They confiscated solar panels and related equipment, all of which were donated to the community by a humanitarian aid organization about a month ago. Abu a-Nuwar lies between the settlements of Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim, in an area that Israeli authorities have defined E1. Some 650 people live in the community, about half of them minors.
The main route to Abu a-Nuwar was blocked off and the troops prevented anyone from entering or leaving. The area of the school, which was empty due to the summer break, was declared a closed military zone. The CA confiscated two solar-panels stands and ten solar panels that had been installed in the school yard. They also broke down a door to a room in the school, went in and seized two circuit-breaker panels and 12 batteries that were in the room. The confiscated solar panels supplied power to the community’s school and preschools, which are attended by a total of about 72 children, as well as to the community’s guesthouse. The equipment was seized despite an interim injunction issued that day prohibiting enforcement (in the form of demolition or confiscating solar panels) until 16 August 2017.
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.
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.
Since the beginning of 2016 Israel has demolished eight Palestinian homes in the area defined as E1 and two homes in the South Hebron Hills, including one in Khirbet Susiya, where residents have struggled for years against expulsion and settler takeover. These demolitions serve Israel’s policy to create immutable facts on the ground ahead of any future agreement. This longstanding policy, which creates an impossible daily reality for Palestinians in Area C, constitutes forced transfer of protected residents within the occupied territory.
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.