Photo: Bir al Maskoob / B'tselem
Overall Monthly Totals
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.
** No additional information was available
Above data is from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, B’tselem, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
(Dis)Approvals for Palestinians in Area C – 2009-2020
“ In years 2019-2020 some 32 plans and permits for Palestinians in area C were approved, while 310 plans and permit requests were rejected. The plans and permits include some 265 housing units. At the same time in the settlements plans for 16,098 were approved and promoted and permits for additional 2,233 units were issued.
In years 2009-2018 – 98 construction permits for Palestinians were issued out of 4,422 requests for permits that were filed. These permits can be for housing, industry, agriculture, infrastructure etc. A few dozen of the permits that were issued between 2016 and 2018 were for the construction of the alternative homes for the Khan Al-Ahmar residence that were supposed to be forcibly relocated. The houses have yet to be built.
At the same time in Settlements: In years 2019-2020 the HPC approved plans for 16,098 units in settlements. In addition, the municipalities of the settlements issued permits for AT LEAST 2,233 housing units (according to the partial data published by the Israeli CBS).
There is an intention to approve the plan to legalize 70 existing housing units in the Palestinian village of Hizma + an addition of 70 new housing units. The HPC is intending to condition the approval of the plan for the Palestinian village of Walajeh, with the approval of a new bypass road for settlers (which will “be compensated” by the construction of the plan for about 1,000 housing units for settlers in the new planned settlement of “Givat HaGamal” in Har Gilo). It is important to note that the discussion of the plan of Walajeh was forced on the HPC following the High Court’s decision that the plan should be discussed.
Apparently the HPC did not approve the plan to legalize a school in the Bedouin community of Wadi A-Sik in the western slopes of the Jordan Valley. Apparently the HPC approved two hotels and an amusement park and a 200 square-meter cooling building for a Palestinian farmer in the Jordan Valley.
Is there any change in the trends in terms of planning for Palestinians?
The small scandal at the day of the meeting of the Planning and Licensing Subcommittee in 17/1/2021, in which the Prime Minister tried to prevent the subcommittee from convening, comes after some talks about potential approval of plans for Palestinians and some strong pressure to prevent it by settlers and right wing activists. Although nothing seams to have changed, and no significant planning was approved, there might be a sign for some small effort to allow some plans for Palestinians, which we didn’t see in the past.
It is hard to tell whether it was an effort to change the trends or not. There were in past, some voices from the Ministry of Justice claiming that Israel must approve more to Palestinians if it wanted to avoid an investigation of the International Criminal Court and the accusations of Apartheid. For that reason, in 2019 the Israeli Cabinet decided to approve 700 units for Palestinians (until now it didn’t happen).”
(For the full report, published by Peace Now, on 31 January 2021: https://peacenow.org.il/en/approvals-for-palestinians-in-area-c-2009-2020)