Photo credit: Iyad Hadad/B'tselem
There are four categories of demolitions:
- Punitive demolitions: Houses demolished as punishment for the actions of people associated with the houses.
- Administrative demolitions: Houses demolished for lack of a building permit. This happens in Area C and in East Jerusalem, under exclusive Israeli authority, though prior to the existence of Areas A, B & C it occurred in other areas as well. It is important to point out that in almost all cases, Palestinians have no choice but to build "illegally" as permits are rarely granted
- Land-clearing operations/Military demolitions: Houses demolished by the IDF in the course of military operations for the purposes of clearing off a piece of land (for whatever reason), achieve a military goal or to kill wanted persons as part of Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions..
- Undefined demolitions: These include mainly demolitions resulting from land-clearing operations and removal of Palestinian populations.
* WASH stands for structures relating to water, sanitation and hygiene.
† In many cases, notably in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities condition Palestinians to either demolish their properties themselves or have the authorities do so. In an attempt to avoid having to pay the high fee of the Israeli authorities’ demolition operation and additional high fines, many Palestinians are forced to self-demolish. .
Above data is from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA),B’tselem,
the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, Palestinian Information Centre
Legal updates & more
Destruction of crops in the Naqab (Negev) desert
From mid-March Israeli authorities have destroyed more then 1,000 dunam of crops, cultivated by farmers from unrecognised Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in South Israel. The systematic destruction of crops has left people living in the poor communities in a dire situation, enhanced only by the noble Covid-19 pandemic that has left many of the villagers unemployed and now, with no crops to depend on for their livelihoods. The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality noted the following events that took place in the region:
- al-Bḥīrah, an unrecognised village, 500 dunam of crops were destroyed by Israeli authorities.
- Umm Batīn, a recognized village, 400 dunam of crops were destroyed by Israeli authorities.
- Wadi Rw’ain, an unrecognised village, 120 dunam of crops were destroyed by Israeli authorities.
- al-Ġarrah, an unrecognised village, 90 dunam of crops were destroyed by authorities. .
- Umm Batīn, a recognized village, an unknown amount of crops were destroyed by Israeli authorities.
On 20 March, 2020, the Middle East Eye dedicated an article titled “Coronavirus: As Israel shuts down, authorities destroy Bedouin crops” to the events.
Evictions in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem
“A court session next month…Eviction orders for Taha and Idris families in Beit Hanina in favor of settlers
A state of anxiety and fear in the families of Idris and Taha in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, with the approach of a session to discuss the lawsuit filed by the occupation’s “Absentee Property Guardian", which demands the land on which their houses are built claiming that the settlers owned the land before the occupation of the city of Jerusalem.
The "Absentee Property Guardian" delivered legal notices to Taha and Idris families about 3 years ago, asking them for the land on which the houses are built, but they rejected the allegations and confirmed their ownership of the land.
In addition, Jamal Idris explained that his family and the Taha family purchased the land in 2000, and they built the house and expanded on it. Today, it has 10 residential homes for the two families, and it houses about 50 individuals, most of them children.
Idris added that they were surprised in 2017 by receiving judicial notices demanding the land, where they have lived for years, and a new session will be held next month in court to consider the case and make a decision.
He called on family members to support them and provide them with support from officials and human rights institutions to preserve the land and homes.
The two families affirmed that the danger of eviction and confiscation threatens the entire 8000-square meter land, where several other families live as well, and the matter will not stop with the eviction orders of only the two families.”
(The article was published on 11 March 2020, on the news website Silwanic)
Freezing House Demolitions in Israel and the oPT during the Covid-19
ACRI (The Association for Civil Rights in Israel), approached the Israeli authorities on a number of occasions to request the freezing of house demolitions in Israel and in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic:
- “We appealed to the Ministry of Justice to cease home demolitions in unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev along with 23 other organizations. On 3.2020 the Ministry of Justice declared it would cease to implement all home demolition orders, with the exception of new illegal buildings, within Israel.”
2- “We appealed multiple times to the Attorney General and Justice and IDF Central Command demanding a freeze of home demolitions during this time in which one's home is one’s only refuge from the pandemic and preventing its spread.”
3-“On March 16, 20, we contacted the Deputy Attorney General following news of the demolition of three houses in Kafr Qasem. In our appeal, we note that the demolition policy is unbearable even nowadays, especially when the world is struggling with a plague and one's home is a single refuge, and when access to authorities and courts is limited. Accordingly, we sought to direct enforcement agencies to freeze during this period the execution of demolition orders for populated homes and the issuance of new demolition orders.”
Information from : OCHA, WAFA, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, ACRI, Silwanic