Demolitions & Displacement in the occupied West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem) and within the state of Israel
August 2020 Report
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, Palestinian Information Centre, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, IMEMC
“Despite Heavy Costs, Palestinians in Occupied East Jerusalem Decide not to Self-Demolish Their Homes
Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem have decided not to tear down their homes with their own hands in defiance of demolition orders issued by the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem under the pretext of construction without permit, despite the heavy costs, reported Wafa news agency. In a public meeting for Palestinian residents of Silwan neighborhood held last week, the residents decided to stop yielding to pressure from the Israeli municipality, whom they accuse of discriminating against the non-Jewish residents of the city, and demolish their own homes under the threat that they will be heavily fined and forced to pay exorbitant costs if the municipality carries out the demolition.
The families of Silwan held a meeting to discuss “the rabid and systematic offensive by the occupation municipality to displace families through house demolitions and fining,” said the Silwan families in a statement after their meeting. “Demolishing houses with their bulldozers or self-demolition has become one of the weapons they use to fight us,” they added, calling on people not to self-demolish their homes and to stand by those who have their homes demolished and help them remain steadfast in their city. The Abdo family from Jabal al-Mukabber has decided not demolish their own house, defying Israeli threats “The demolition of houses is a crime that our family members cannot commit against themselves, and if the occupiers insist on doing it, then let them do it and let them be exposed to the whole world so that they will not have the satisfaction that the demolition is done by the residents,” said the Abdo family.
Reports also said that Ghaleb Abbasi, from Silwan, tore down the foundation for a house he was building after he got a threatening demolition order from the municipality. According to Khaled Abu Tayeh, member of Silwan Land Defense Committee, Abbasi had built the 160-square-meter foundation eight years ago in the hope to get a permit to continue construction of his house. But, instead, he received a demolition order and was forced to tear it apart to avoid paying high fees and costs.
Israel issued 650 demolition orders against Palestinian homes and structures in East Jerusalem this year. Palestinians in the city say they are forced to build without permit because getting one is almost impossible from a racist municipality that is ready to build thousands of housing units for Jews and not a single house for the Palestinians.”
(Published by the ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ on 23 August 2020)
“House Demolitions and Forced Evictions in Silwan: Israel’s Transfer of Palestinians from Jerusalem
Al-Haq’s new report titled “House Demolitions and Forced Evictions in Silwan: Israel’s Transfer of Palestinians from Jerusalem” examines Israel’s house demolition policy as a tool of forcible transfer, the different types of demolition orders, including incidents of ‘self-demolition,’ and forced evictions. Looking at Silwan, in particular, the report analyses the impact of Israel’s systematic policies and practices of forced displacement, including Israel’s applied framework to govern planning and zoning in Jerusalem. To read the full report-
New report from Negev Coexistence Forum: “On (In)Equality and Demolition of Homes and Structures in Arab Bedouin Communities in the Negev/Naqab”
The State of Israel continues to implement a policy of expulsion towards the Arab-Bedouin community in the Negev/Naqab, denying their status as citizens with equal rights. In 2019, 2,241 structures were destroyed, of which 33% were demolished before any demolition orders had been issued, constituting an increase of 146% compared to the previous year (2018).
The number of self-demolitions (carried out by the owners of the structures) in 2019 was almost identical to that of 2018. No less than 88% of the residents preferred to demolish their houses themselves rather than have them destroyed by law enforcement, so as to avoid heavy fines and the trauma of police forces entering the villages.
With the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic and after the directives by the Ministry of Health, NCF turned to the Israeli Attorney General, together with 23 other civil organizations, in a joint request to stop home demolitions and the ploughing under of fields. Unfortunately, the enforcement and police forces continued undeterred with the enforcement activities: ploughing under crops; distributing demolition orders and warnings; summoning Bedouin civilians for police investigations; imposing penalties on shepherds and more. This conduct, during a health, social and economic crisis such as has never before been experienced in Israel, proved once again to the Bedouin citizens the extent to which State authorities are impervious to their rights.”
To read the full report- https://www.dukium.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/HDR-2020-Data-on-2019-Eng-3.pdf