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.
On 28 December 2017, at approximately 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with Border Police officers to the Khan al-Ahmar School community in the area of Ma’ale Adumim, handed the residents a military warrant and took away 60 wooden panels and two doors. The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in an area that Israel has earmarked for future expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. Later that day, at around 1:00 P.M., Civil Administration officials came with Border Police officers to another community in Khan al-Ahmar, a-Tabneh, and confiscated 10 tin panels and four packs of iron bars that are used to erect temporary structures for events. Read all reports on Khan al-Ahmar here.
For over a month the military has been curtailing the movement of the Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta) in the South Hebron Hills by putting in place physical obstacles. Local residents occasionally managed to forge side paths to get through, and each time the soldiers restored the obstacle either the same day or the next. This morning, 26 December 2017 2017, at around 10:00 A.M., soldiers arrived in the area with bulldozers. They re-blocked paths the Palestinian residents forged between Masafer Yatta and the community of Sh’ab al-Botum. This time the soldiers also piled up mounds of boulders and dug a ditch – two meters deep, by three meters wide – to keep vehicles from getting though. In addition, the troops also dug another ditch along a road which had not previously been blocked, and which runs between the communities of Khallet a-a-Dabe’ and Khribet al-Fakhit.
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.
Since 9 Nov. 2017, the military has restricted movement in four communities in the Masafer Yatta region of the South Hebron Hills, which are home to some 600 people. The roads connecting the communities and leading to the main road have been blocked off, forcing residents to walk a fair distance to the main road. These communities have been suffering incessant harassment for decades: Israel will not allow them to connect to infrastructure and repeatedly demolishes their homes, in an attempt to drive them out of the area.
Today, at 8:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, accompanied by Border Police officers, arrived at the community of Tublas, located on the side of the main road between Hizma and Anata, north of Jerusalem. The forces demolished and confiscated at tin shack which was the home of a five-person family, including three minors. The shack had been donated by the European Union. This is the second time the Civil Administration has demolished the family’s home. On 31 August 2017, it demolished and confiscated another shack donated to the family by the European Union.
This morning, 19 October 2017, at 10:30 AM, Civil Administration officials together with a military detail, arrived at the community of Khirbet al-Halawah, in the Masafer Yatta region in the south Hebron Hills. The forces demolished the homes of two families: a concrete structure built with the help of a contribution from the European Union, and a cinder block structure with plastic sheeting for a roof. The forces left two families homeless. One family has 15 members, including seven children and teenagers, and the other is a family of three, including one minor. As they were leaving the area, the forces passed near the village of a-Tuwani and demolished a shed used by a village resident. In the late 1970s, the military declared a large area in the Masafer Yatta region, which is home to twelve Palestinian communities, as “Firing Zone 918”, and in the 1990s, it expelled residents from their homes. These residents were permitted to return thanks to an injunction issued by the High Court of Justice in response to several petitions, which forbade the state from demolishing the homes pending resolution of the petitions. However, the authorities have since repeatedly harassed residents of the area in an attempt to expel them from their homes. In early 2016, the Civil Administration demolished structures in this and in another community in the area.
On 14 October 2017, military forces arrived at two Palestinian communities in the Jordan valley to confiscate vehicles and work tools. At around 3:30 AM, a force arrived at a farm in Khirbet Ras al-Ahmar, where it confiscated a digger and a truck and told the people who work at the farm to drive the vehicles to the al-Hamra checkpoint. At around 2:00 PM, a military force arrived at the community of Khirbet a-Deir, and ordered the owner of a private car from the community and three people in possession of trucks rented with funding from a humanitarian organization to build an access road to farmlands, to drive their vehicles to the Beit Shean Bardalaי checkpoint. The drivers were held up at the checkpoint for several hours, and ultimately, two of the trucks were confiscated with no order. The reason given was construction without a permit.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 17 October 2017, at around 7:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, together with military forces, arrived at the community of Khallet Makhul in the northern Jordan Valley, and confiscated items meant to be used for an extension of a family home in the community. Khallet Makhul is a long-standing shepherding community which borders on the settlement of Hemdat to the south and the settlement of Ro’i to the east. The Israeli authorities repeatedly demolish homes in the community in an effort to force the residents away from the area. The most recent demolition in the community took place on 18 March 2015.
This morning, at around 7:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, together with security forces and four bulldozers arrived at the Jabal al-Baba community near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces destroyed three pre-fab homes that housed four families, leaving 27 people, including 18 children and youths, homeless. The forces also demolished two bathroom stalls donated by a humanitarian aid organization. The most recent abuse the community was subjected to by the authorities was on 11 September 2017 when forces confiscated equipment used to repair the community’s access road.
On 7 Sept. 2017, in the middle of the night, military forces arrived at a building in the community of Khirbet al-Malih in the northern Jordan Valley. They entered the building – which serves as a home all year, apart from the summer – and trained inside, using live ammunition and stun grenades. They did so just 100 meters from other homes in the community, whose occupants were asleep at the time, and without giving any advance notice. Yusef Khalil, 25, was sleeping outside with his flock: “I woke up with a start. I heard heavy gunfire and didn’t understand what was going on. I was terrified. I heard my mother telling my brothers: ‘Stay in bed and don’t move, it’s the army’.”
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.