This month, 23 structures were demolished in the occupied Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem) displacing 24 people- 9 of whom are children- and affecting a further 53 people.
All the demolitions and confiscations but one- the sealing of a room in Qabatiya – occurred on the grounds of lacking an Israeli-issued building permit. Most of the demolished structures supported agricultural, herding and commercial livelihoods. (Photo: Adallah).
- On 6 March, 2018, a structure was demolished by Israeli forces in Al ‘Auja, Jordan Valley affecting 2 people.
- On 6 March 2018, a room under construction in the al-Ashqariya neighbourhood in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, was demolished by Israeli forces, affecting the livelihoods of two people. Owner of the structure, Dauod Mheisen, wished to construct the room and re-open his wife’s hair salon, after it was demolished last month by the Israeli authorities.
- On 6 March 2018, two structures were demolished by Israeli forces in Silwan, East Jerusalem, affecting the livelihoods of 3 people. One of the structures, a car wash, owned by the Odeh family, was demolished without prior notice for the second time within a year. In addition, the Israeli forces confiscated all the contents from the car wash and later that day they demolished a retaining wall belonging to the same family.
- On 13 March, 2018, two structures were demolished by Israeli forces in Silwad, Ramallah, affecting 4 people.
- On 13 March, 2018, a structure was demolished by Israeli forces in Kafr Malik, Ramallah, affecting 4 people.
- On 14 March, 2018, Israeli forces sealed a room with concrete (instead of two rooms, as they initially intended) in the Kmeil family home in Qabatiya, Jenin, displacing six people. The room was inside the family house of one of the Palestinian perpetrators of an attack that took place on October 2017, in Kafr Qasem, within Israel, where one Israeli citizen was killed.
- On 14 March, 2018, seven structures were demolished in Al Wata, East Jerusalem displacing 13 people from 2 households and affecting the livelihoods of many.
- On 17 March 2018, Ishak Shweiki, a resident of Silwan, East Jerusalem, was forced to demolish part of his house after receiving a demolition order from the Israeli authorities. The demolition order ordered Mr.Shweiki to either demolish his home within 30 days or pay a high fine of $ 17,000. The Shewiki family, who built a second floor six years ago to meet the growing needs of the family, were left with little choice other then to self demolish their house, to protect the first floor that was built almost 100 years ago from being damaged. The demolition displaced the family of 5.
- On 19 March, 2018, Faisal Mohammed Jum’a was forced to demolished his own home in Jabal al Mukabbir, East Jerusalem. At the beginning of the year, Israeli authorities issued the family with a demolition order. Mr.Juma, who built the house 6 months ago, managed to postpone the demolition in an attempt to obtain the building permit, but all his requests were turned down and rejected by the Jerusalem municipality. After receiving the final notice from the Jerusalem District Court about the imminent demolition, Mr.Jum’a was forced to demolish his own house to avoid the high fine he would have to pay if the Jerusalem municipality would carry out the demolition . The demolition displaced the family of six, including four children.
- On 28 March 2018, Israeli forces demolished four structures in Al Walaja, Bethlehem. A house under construction, a graveyard and retaining walls were all demolished affecting 14 people from 2 households.
- On 28 March 2018, a structure was confiscated in Susiya, South Mount Hebron displacing a family of six.
- On 28 March 2018, in Khallet Athaba’, Hebron, a structure was confiscated affecting 12 people.
Communities facing heightened risk of forcible transfer
Human Rights organization ‘Haqel’ has reported on 14 March 2018, that the right-wing NGO ‘Regavim’ has submitted notification and a request to the High Court of Justice claiming that a new structure has been built in Susiya. The request stated that: “the petitioners are undermining the court and violating the legal process by continuing to build in the village”.
Regavim requested that the court demand a date from the State on which the demolitions will be carried out in accordance with the court decision from 1 February 2018, as well as clarifying its intention regarding the course of legal action against the new structure.
Haqel in response had clarified that according to their assessment the structure is not new and the claim is incorrect.
This recent and serous development in the case of Susiya- as the High Court of Justice has prohibited the villagers from building any new structures- stands to show the complexed situation the village and their legal defence face; constant harassment from the Israeli authorities and right wing organizations that are trying to exhaust the villagers in their struggle to save their village from demolition.
On 22 March 2018, ‘Adalah’-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, had reported that 350 people from the unrecognised Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran will be left homeless, as Israeli authorities announced that week that they will demolish the entire village in April 2018. The previous day, 21 March 2018, Israeli police forces entered Umm al-Hiran in preparation for the April demolitions, posting eviction notices on homes and the village’s mosque. The notices specified that Israeli authorities will carry out demolitions at some point between 15 April and 29 April 2018.
Israeli authorities plan to demolish the village and build on top of it an only Jewish-Israeli town- ’Hiran’. Despite the state’s repeated promises to the court that Hiran would accept all new residents – regardless of religion or ethnic background – this is not the case and Hiran is, in fact, closed to non-Jewish residents.
According to a document uncovered by Adalah in August 2017, Hiran’s cooperative association bylaws specify that only Orthodox Jews will be permitted to live in the new town. The bylaws read: “an individual may be approved by the admissions committee and become a member of the Hiran cooperative association if they meet the following qualifications: a Jewish Israeli citizen or permanent resident of Israel who observes the Torah and commandments according to Orthodox Jewish values…”
In response, Adalah has sent an urgent letter to Israeli authorities demanding that they postpone the eviction of residents and demolition of their homes.
Updated summary on punitive home demolitions
‘Hamoked’- Center for the Defence of the Individual, published on 14 March 2018, an updated summary on punitive home demolitions from July 2014 to March 14, 2018, in which they have found that 51 homes were demolished or sealed – completely or partially, a number of untargeted homes damaged thereby and 101 homes surveyed by military but no punitive order issued as yet.
- 42 homes completely or partially demolished: 12 in northern West Bank; 24 in southern West Bank; 6 in East Jerusalem
- 9 homes completely or partially sealed: 1 in northern West Bank; 3 in southern West Bank; 5 in East Jerusalem
- 2 homes slated for complete or partial demolition: 1 in northern West Bank; 1 in East Jerusalem
- 101 homes surveyed with no punitive order issued: 16 in northern West Bank; 67 in southern West Bank; 18 in East Jerusalem
- 8 punitive demolition or sealing orders cancelled: 1 following an objection to the military; 7 following a High Court petition