Posted on July 3, 2019, by & filed under House Demolitions.


House demolition in Jiftlik, Jordan Valley in November 2017

 

During the month of June 2019, at least 64 structures were demolished in the occupied Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem) by Israeli forces, displacing at least 60 people- including 27 children- and affecting a further 18,774 people (according to OCHA oPT).

All the demolitions and confiscations were carried out on grounds of lacking an Israeli-issued building permit. Most of the demolished structures supported agricultural, herding and commercial livelihoods.

Full list of Demolitions:

  • On 10 June, 2019, Israeli forces confiscated an agricultural structure in Khirbet Jubara, Tulkarm. The confiscated structure was intended to be used as a storage room for agricultural equipment. The confiscation has affected a family of four, including two children.
  • On 10 June, 2019, a Palestinian family was forced to self-demolish their 130-m-2 house in Sur Bahir, East Jerusalem. According to the family, the house was built in 2010. They received a demolition order shortly after the construction was completed, and they appointed a lawyer who managed to postpone the execution of the order until an Israeli court ruled in favour of the demolition in May 2019. A family of seven, including five children was displaced as a result. The family, who live in extremely poor conditions were ordered to pay a fine of 70,000 NIS to the Israeli authorities.
  • On 11 June, 2019, the Jerusalem municipality alongside Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house and a house extension in Sur Bahir, East Jerusalem. The under-construction house was built in early 2018, and a demolition order was issued against it last month. The house-extension was built in 2014, and the family received a demolition order against it in 2015. A lawyer on their behalf managed to postpone the demolition until an Israeli court ruled in favour of the demolition in June 2019. Two families, consisting of 12 people, including eight children were affected.
  • On 11 June, 2019, the Jerusalem municipality alongside Israeli forces demolished a 100-m2 aluminium workshop in Jabal al-Mukabbir, East Jerusalem. The workshop was built in 2010, and the family received a demolition order in 2016. They appointed a lawyer who managed to postpone the demolition until early 2019. The family reported to have paid 20,000 NIS in fines, and to have lost some equipment that was buried under the rubble. A family of six, including four children was affected, as they lost their only income.
  • On 11 June, 2019, Israeli forces alongside Israeli Civil Administration personnel demolished an under-construction two storey building in the Jabal Jares area, Hebron city. 20 people from three households were affected by the demolition.
  • On 11 June, 2019, the Jerusalem municipality together with Israeli forces demolished four structures used to shelter animals in Bir Onah, East Jerusalem. During the demolition four water tanks were destroyed and a number of people were attacked and injured by the Israeli forces. A family of 11, including two children was affected.
  • On 11 June, 2019, Israeli forces alongside Israeli Civil Administration personnel demolished two water cisterns and cut down 390 trees in the village of Tammun, Tubas, Jordan Valley, affecting 13,588 people.
  • On 11 June, 2019, Israeli forces alongside Israeli Civil Administration personnel demolished an under-construction residential building, swimming pool and a 150-m wall in Jericho city. Three households comprising of 14 people, including five children were affected. The families, who were about to move into the apartments reported that they did not receive any demolition order prior to the demolition.
  • On 12 June, 2019, personnel from the Israeli Ministry of Interior, the Jerusalem municipality and Israeli forces demolished an under-construction two-storey building in Kfar Aqab, East Jerusalem. The family started to build the house in 2017, received a demolition order in May 2019, and a second order on 3 June, 2019. Nine people, including three children were affected.
  • On 12 June, 2019, Israeli forces demolished 11 structures in the herding community of Khirbet ar Ras al Ahmar, Jordan Valley. The structures included five residential structures, five animal structures and one latrine. The demolition displaced three families comprising of 15 people, including six children.
  • On 12 June, 2019, Israeli forces and personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished a structure in Umm al Kheir, South Mount Hebron, displacing a family of five, including three children.
  • On 12 June, 2019, Israeli forces alongside personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished an animal structure in Khashem ad Daraj, South Mount Hebron, affecting a family of ten, including five children.
  • On 12 June, 2019, Israeli forces alongside personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated three agricultural structures and two latrines in Al Khadr, Hebron, that were donated to the families after a previous demolition that occurred in April 2019. The confiscation of the structures affected ten people from three households.
  • On 17 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished three residential structures in Halaweh (firing zone 918), Hebron. All the structures were donated to the families after a previous demolition that occurred in October 2018. The demolition displaced 15 people, including nine children, from three households.
  • On 17 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished a residential structure and a small storage room in Khallet Athaba’(firing zone 918), Hebron. During the demolition the solar panels that were stored in the storage room were confiscated by the Israeli army. The demolition displaced a family of 12 people, including six children.
  • On 17 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration dismantled and confiscated a plant nursery on Road 60, near Beit Ummar, Hebron. A family of seven, including one child was affected.
  • On 17 June, 2019, a Palestinian family was forced to self-demolish their under-construction house in Jabal al Mukabbir, East Jerusalem. The family started building the house in April 2019, and immediately received a demolition order. They appointed a lawyer to fight the case, but on 11 June, 2019, the district court rejected the appeal and ordered the house to be demolished. The family had little choice other then demolishing the house by themselves, in order to avoid the high cost of having the Jerusalem municipality do so. Two families comprising 10 people, including six children were affected.
  • On 18 June, 2019, personnel from the Jerusalem municipality and Israeli forces demolished a 650-m2 commercial building in Jabal al Mukabbir, East Jerusalem. The building was completed in early 2019, and a demolition order was immediately issued against it. The owners appointed a lawyer and took the case to court, but in June 2019 an Israeli court ordered the building to be demolished. Four families comprising of 30 people, including 20 children were affected by the demolition.
  • On 18 June, 2019, personnel from the Israeli Ministry of Interior, the Jerusalem municipality and Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house in Ras Khamis, East Jerusalem. According to the family, the two-storey house was built in March 2019. A demolition order was issued immediately after the construction was completed, and the family appointed a lawyer, who managed to postpone the demolition until an Israeli court ruled in favour of the demolition in May 2019. Eight members of the family, including three children were affected by the demolition.
  • On 18 June, 2019, Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated an agricultural structure and a mobile latrine, in Qusra, Nablus, affecting a family of nine.
  • On 19 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished two agricultural structures and an animal pen in At Taybe, Hebron. During the demolition, a water tank and two gates were damaged. Five families comprising of 28 people, including 16 children, were affected.
  • On 19 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished an under-construction house in Jericho. A family of five, including three children was affected.
  • On 20 June, 2019, Israeli forces confiscated a caravan in Barta’a ash-Sharqika, Jenin, that was used as an office for the local waste management company. The confiscation disrupted the entire project, affecting the whole village of 4,950 people.
  • On 21 June, 2019, a Palestinian woman was forced to self-demolish an agricultural structure in Majdal Bani Fadil, Nablus, after Israeli personnel visited the area and photographed it - a sign they were about the demolish it. The demolition affected a family of two.
  • On 24 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated a residential tent in Umm Fagarah, South Mount Hebron, displacing a family of five, including three children.
  • On 25 June, 2019, Israeli forces demolished a house and an animal shelter in the village of Qaffin, Tulkarm, displacing one person.
  • On 26 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished a retaining wall and part of a paved road in Fuqeiqis area, Hebron. A family of eight, including six children was affected.
  • On 26 June, 2019, Israeli forces demolished five commercial structures in Deir Ballut, Salfit, affecting 22 people from three families, including nine children.
  • On 26 June, 2019, Israeli forces along with personnel from the Israeli Civil Administration demolished an under-construction gas distribution facility in Anata, East Jerusalem. A family of six, including one child was affected.
  • On 29 June, 2019, a Palestinian family was forced to self-demolish their house extensions- two living rooms, in Ras al Amud, East Jerusalem. The family received a demolition order in March 2019, but did not undertake legal proceedings. They were fined 1,500 NIS, instead of 15 days in prison. Six people, including three children were affected.

Legal Updates

Wadi El Hummus, Sur Baher, East Jerusalem

Wadi El Hummus residents received notice offering to conduct self-demolition with prior coordination with the ISF before the 18th July 2019. Otherwise the ISF will demolish while charging the costs to the residents.

The Wadi El Hummus neighborhood is located in Sur Baher, in southeast Jerusalem. The residents received several demolition orders for residential structures located in Area A and B, under the Palestinian authority. The reason being that the structures were constructed (or are in different stages of construction) in an area in which construction is prohibited due to security needs, following a military order issued in 2011.

The residents petitioned the HCJ requesting that the order prohibiting construction be cancelled or, alternatively, that the ISF refrain from demolishing the structures. On 11 June 2019, the HCJ dismissed the petition [HCJ 676/17 and HCJ 3246/17 (joint ruling)] while granting alleviations for a number of structures (partial demolition).

In its decision the HCJ stated that the “Continued construction without a permit in close proximity to the security barrier limits the operational freedom of movement near the fence and increases friction with the local population. Such construction may also serve as a hiding place for terrorists or persons residing illegally among civilian population, and enable terrorists to smuggle weapons or even enter into Israel from that area. Widespread construction along the security barrier causes concrete harm to the effectiveness of the security barrier, while putting at risk the lives of citizens and security forces and, therefore, there exists a military-security justification to restrict the construction.”

Following the ruling, on 18 June 2019 the ISF sent the residents a ‘Notice of Intent to Demolish’. The notice provides the residents with the possibility to conduct self-demolition within 30 days of the issuance of the notice, i.e. until 18 July 2019, with prior coordination with the ISF to ensure that the self-demolition is done in accordance with the requirements set out in the HCJ ruling. If the demolition will not be carried out until 18 July 2019, the ISF shall proceed to do so, while incurring the demolition costs on the residents.

The ruling affects an estimated 100 families.

According to St.Yves, the ruling and the follow-up notice are a serious indication of a new approach by the ISF to implement demolitions in Areas A and B around the separation wall, in general, and in Wadi EL Hummus, specifically. It is also indicative of a new trend in the WB whereby the ISF ‘offers’ self-demolition as a gesture toward the residents to ease the demolition process.

(Report by St.Yves 21 June, 2019)

Fateful Court Hearing on Siyam Family Home in Silwan

Peace Now has reported about the legal developments that took place in the Siyam house in the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem:

“On Wednesday June 12th, the Jerusalem District Court will hear the appeal filed by Jawad Siyam against the decision of the Magistrate’s Court to grant Elad settlers parts of his home in Silwan. This is another, perhaps final, stage in the long struggle of the family against the settlers of Elad who have been trying to take over the Siyam house in different ways for over 20 years.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Elad claimed that it had purchased parts of the house from the family’s father (the court ruled that the contract presented by the settlers was invalid); them they claimed that they had acquired the grandmother’s share through three of her children (the court rejected the claim). Eventually in a 1999 suit filed by Elad, the District Court ruled that all the settlers had managed to acquire was four parts out of eight of the grandmother’s portion. There is disagreement between the parties over the extent of the grandmother’s share, and the District Court is expected to discuss this question, inter alia, in the appeal on Wednesday.”

On 20 June, 2019 Peace Now reported that After 24-Year Legal Battle, Court Permits Settler Takeover of Siyam Family Home in Silwan (Administrative Appeal 48439-01-19 ע"א )

“The Jerusalem District Court this week rejected the appeal filed by the Siyam family, Palestinian residents of the city’s Silwan neighborhood, and ruled that the family would be evicted from its apartment and from neighboring shop and yard for the benefit of settlers of the Elad association.

The expected eviction is no ordinary victory for the powerful settler organization over a simple Palestinian family that has found itself struggling in a protracted and costly two-decade legal battle over its home. This is a moral and symbolic victory over one of the main leaders of Silwan, Jawad Siyam, a social worker who established community centers for children and families in Silwan–someone considered a pillar of the community and a defender of the defenseless in the face of the pressure from settlers and the authorities.

The court ruled that the Elad settlers, who managed to take over 3/4 of the property, would receive one apartment, where a divorced woman with her four children now live, as well as a small shop and yard. Jawad Siam and his family will continue to live in the second part of the property, with a dividing wall with the settlers.

Elad has tried to take over the property of the Siyam family since the early 1990s in various purchase attempts rejected by the courts. In the end, after six long, exhausting and costly legal proceedings, the association managed to convince the court that it owned parts of the house and that the property could be divided so that it would have a foothold in it.

The settler move in and eviction may take place between 8-28 July, pending no further delays.