Today, Sunday 10 Sept. 2017, a military jeep arrived in the morning in the agricultural areas to the west of the Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley. The forces confiscated two commercial vehicles and a truck. The vehicles were taken from three families who are employed by the landowners in the area as agricultural workers. A few days ago, on 6 September 2017, Civil Administration forces came to the same community and confiscated a tractor and a welding machine that was being used at the time by a resident to repair the community’s water pipe. The forces also confiscated a bus used for transporting agricultural workers to farms in the area. All the confiscations were undertaken on the pretext if presence in a “firing zone,” without issuing confiscation orders.
On 11 July 2018, at around 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military and Border Police escort, and two trucks, at the Palestinian community of Khirbet Khilet a-Dabe in the South Hebron Hills. The residents, including a group of children, gathered on the spot and soldiers fired stun grenades at them. Some four hours later, at about 1:00 P.M., the forces confiscated two classrooms that had been placed there sever days earlier, on 6 July, with the help of the Palestinian Ministry of Education. The classrooms were meant to supplement the school’s single classroom, which was built a year ago and serves 10 students, ahead of the coming school year. They were supposed to serve another 10 students, who currently have to be driven to school in the neighboring village of a-Tuwani. Shortly after the forces arrived at the community, the residents filed a petition with Israel’s High Court of Justice demanding that the structures not be demolished or removed. Justice Grosskopf issued a temporary order forbidding the state to take any enforcement action until the suit for an interim injunction was decided. The order was issued after the classrooms had already been loaded onto the trucks, but before they had driven away. Nonetheless, the forces refused to unload the classrooms and the trucks drove off. Later, at around 4:00 P.M., Civil Administration personnel came with soldiers and a bulldozer to the area of Shu’b al-Buttom, also in the South Hebron Hills, and demolished an approximately 50-meter long section of a path that the residents paved in early 2017.
On Wednesday, 4 July 2018, at around 1:00 P.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel arrived with a bulldozer and a two-jeep military escort at the Palestinian community of Khallet al-Khader in the northern Jordan Valley. They demolished a drinking-water tank with a 200-cubic meter capacity that had been donated to the community in October 2016.
The next morning (Thursday, 5 July 2018), at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military and Border Police escort at the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills, bringing with them a bulldozer, a truck and a crane. They demolished and confiscated a dwelling that had been built about two weeks earlier, thereby leaving five people – three of them minors – without a home. The troops then went on to khirbet al- Mufaqarah, about 5 km to the east, and demolished the foundations of a cowshed parts of which they had already demolished about two weeks ago.
That same day, at around 8:30 A.M., employees of Mekorot: Israel National Water Company arrived at the Palestinian village of Bardalah in the northern Jordan Valley with a truck and a military escort. They dismantled and carried off 150 meters of irrigation pipelines which residents had hooked up to Mekorot infrastructure.
This morning, 4 July 2018, Israel continued implementing its policy of transferring Palestinian communities: In Khan al-Ahmar the Civil Administration began paving an access road leading to the community to facilitate its transfer. According to reports by the Red Cross, 35 people were injured in clashes that ensued. Four were taken to hospital and the rest were treated on site. In the nearby community of Abu a-Nuwar, the CA demolished nine homes and three farm buildings, leaving 62 people homeless. The CA came to Susiya, apparently to plan the demolition of seven structures there. Israel claims it is merely enforcing the law, on building without permits. But the residents are not criminals: Israel denies them any way of obtaining construction permits and creates unbearable living conditions, hoping they leave - ostensibly of their own volition - so that it can take over their lands. Transferring communities in a war crime; no court ruling or military order can whitewash it.
This morning (Sunday, 1 July 2018), Israeli police and Civil Administration personnel arrived at Khan al-Ahmar, the Palestinian community Israel announced it plans to transfer. The troops walked through Khan al-Ahmar, among the residents' homes, in what appeared to be preparations for the planned demolition of the community. Residents reported that a police officer told them they would be forcibly removed and that they would be better off if they left "voluntarily." The police officer declined to name the date of the transfer.
On Thursday, 24 May 2018, three Israeli Supreme Court justices – Noam Sohlberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner – ruled that the state may demolish the homes of the community of Khan al-Ahmar and transfer the residents from their homes. This ruling removes the last impediment which had thus far served to defer the transfer of the community, a war crime under international law.
On 21 June 2018, Civil Administration personnel, accompanied by military forces, arrived at the community of Khirbet Humsah, in the northern Jordan Valley and delivered temporary evacuation orders to all sixteen families living in a number of separate compounds in the community. Five of these families have been temporarily displaced four times over the last few months. The families were told to leave their homes on 26 June 2018, from six in the morning until eight in the evening on the pretext that the military needs to train in the area.
Video filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
Yesterday, 4 June 2018, around midday, Israeli Civil Administration officials arrived at the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley and handed temporary evacuation orders to five Palestinians families who were already displaced from their homes three times in the last two months. The families were ordered to vacate their homes today, 5 June, from 6 o’clock in the morning until noon, allegedly for the purpose of military training nearby. This morning, Civil Administration officials and a military detail came to the community and accompanied the families, who evacuated on their own – some by car and others on foot. All 29 family members – 19 of whom are minors, including an infant and a child with Down syndrome – had to again go with some of their livestock to a secluded area about ten kilometers from home and wait there, maintaining the Ramadan fast with no shelter, until receiving permission to return home.
On Thursday, 24 May 2018, three Israeli Supreme Court justices – Noam Sohlberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner – ruled that the state may demolish the homes of the community of Khan al-Ahmar, transfer the residents from their homes and relocate them. This ruling removes the last stumbling block in Israel’s way in the matter, lifting the impediment which had thus far served to defer the transfer of the community, a war crime under international law. While it is a policy shaped by the government, the justices – here as well as in other cases – pitched in and paved the road to the commission of a war crime. Personal liability for the commission of this crime will fall not only on policy-makers. Those who paved the juridical route enabling the crime are equally liable.
At 6:00 o’clock this morning (8 May 2018), Israeli Civil Administration officials and a military detail arrived at the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley. They came to evacuate five Palestinian families from their homes from 6:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. This is the third time that these families have been displaced from their homes in the space of two weeks, allegedly for the purpose of military training. The 29 members of these families – 19 of whom are minors, including an infant and a child with Down syndrome – gathered in a secluded area to wait until they will be given permission to return home.
Yesterday, 2 May 2018, at 7:30 A.M., two Civil Administration jeeps accompanied by dozens of soldiers and two bulldozers, arrived at four neighboring communities in the Masafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills: Khirbet Jenbah, Khirbet al-Markez, Khirbet al-Halawah and Khirbet al-Fakhit. The forces destroyed six dwellings, five of them currently occupied and one seasonal, leaving at least 26 residents, including eight minors, homeless. The forces also destroyed a storage unit, six livestock pens and three water tanks. In Khirbet al-Markez, the forces confiscated three solar power units that had been installed by Comet-ME, each of which consisting of three solar panels and a battery. The forces arrived at Khirbet al-Markez first and then went on to Khirbet Jenbah, Khirbet al-Halawah and Khirbet al-Fakhit. Upon arrival at each of the communities, the forces declared the site a closed military zone. In Khirbet al-Halawah, clashes developed between some locals and security forces with the former throwing stones and the latter using stun grenades and tear gas. The forces arrested two of the residents.
Filmed by: Nasser Nawaj'ah, 'Eid al-Hadhalin, Ahmad Jundiyah
This morning, 1 May 2018, at 6:00 A.M., Civil Administration and soldiers arrived in two jeeps at the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley and once again temporarily removed five families from their homes, forcing them to leave their livestock untended. Yet again, the residents gathered in an isolated area about 10km from their homes; this time, the military trained there, too, maneuvering dozens of tanks and armored vehicles only several hundred meters away from where the families were gathered. The Red Crescent provided the residents with two tents for temporary shelter, until they could return home.
Soldiers, armored vehicles and tanks have been training in several locations near Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley almost every day since 5 March 2018. Daily military exercises are a living example of Israel’s policy in the Jordan Valley and in Area C overall, designed to create impossible living conditions that will drive residents of Palestinian communities to leave their homes, ostensibly by choice.
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.