Posted on August 5, 2020, by & filed under House Demolitions, Monthly Demolition Report, News.

Demolitions & Displacement in the occupied West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem) and within the state of Israel

July 2020 Report

1 July 2020

2 July 2020

3 July 2020

6 July 2020

8 July 2020

12 July 2020

13 July 2020

14 July 2020

15 July 2020

16 July 2020

18 July 2020

20 July 2020

21 July 2020

22 July 2020

23 July 2020

26 July 2020

28 July 2020

29 July 2020



There are four categories of demolitions:

  1. Punitive demolitions: Houses demolished as punishment for the actions of people associated with the houses.
  2. 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
  3. 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..
  4. 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, Palestinian Information Centre, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality


Legal updates

Israel to demolish entire Palestinian village in North of West Bank,displacing 200 people- The Israeli occupation authorities are going to demolish an entire Palestinian village in the north of the West Bank displacing over 200 people, today said the head of the village council.

Mahmoud Amarneh, head of Farasin village council west of Jenin, told WAFA that Israeli occupation forces raided the village this morning and handed out 36 demolition orders for the entire structures and water wells in the village where 200 people live. He said the military told the residents that the demolition will take place in few days. Amarneh said the Israeli occupation government wants to take over the village in order to expand illegal settlements built in that area.

(Report published by WAFA News Agency, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020)


Annex and Dispossess: Use of the Absentees’ Property Law to Dispossess Palestinians of their Property in East Jerusalem

A new report by Peace Now’s Settlement Watch team

In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and applied the Israeli law over the area. Absentees’ Property Law that allows the State to take control of properties that had belonged to Palestinians up until 1948 was also applied to the annexed area.

Following the annexation the Israeli governments refrained from using the law, however one decade after 1967, the Likud government started to take advantage of it to deprive Palestinians of their assets in East Jerusalem and transfer them to settlers.

About one-third of the area designated for Israeli annexation in the West Bank according to the Trump plan (about 530,000 dunams) is Palestinian private land. The experience of the annexation in Jerusalem shows that there is real concern that the law will be applied to these vast areas and will deprive hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their assets.

Peace Now looked into the East Jerusalem precedent of annexation and brings a thorough report about the way Israel used the law in East Jerusalem.

This report reveals how a secret government mechanism established under the Likud government in the 1980s, transferred dozens of Palestinian assets in Silwan and the Muslim quarter to settlers, through use of the Absentees’ Property Law, among other means.

The method worked as follows: Settler-related bodies recruited people to declare that the owners of certain properties were absentee landlords. These affidavits were passed onto the Custodian for Absentees’ Property, who deemed that they were indeed absentees’ assets without any further inspection. Thereafter, the absentees’ assets were passed onto the JNF, which passed them onto settlers. The Palestinian families living in these properties discovered that their homes were sold by the state to settlers, upon receiving lawsuits from the settlers or the JNF by the mail, demanding that they vacate the house. Thus a long, costly, exhausting legal battle ensued, for underprivileged Palestinian families versus powerful well-funded bodies like the JNF and settler organizations. Some of the families have been compelled to leave their homes, few have managed to save them, while others are still struggling.

The report cites numerous documents that indicate how the Absentees’ Property Law was abused, and how in spite of court rulings that deemed the process corrupt and unacceptable – the assets were not returned to their owners. An analysis of various governments’ policies, which is detailed in an appendix to the report, indicates that even when governments sought to reduce use of the law, the following governments always found means of changing the policy and reexpanding takeover of Palestinian assets through the Absentees’ Property Law.

To read the full report:

(Report published by Peace Now on July 7, 2020)

This report is available as a PDF via this link