Photo: Community of Khirbet Humsah after demolition, 2 Feb 2021, Aref Daraghmeh, 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.
** 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
“The District Court Rejected the Appeal of 6 Families from Sheikh Jarrah
One paragraph for each family was all what the judges of the Jerusalem District Court needed to determine the fate of 27 people from 6 families in Sheikh Jarrah. Yesterday, the families received the verdict in the appeal they filed against the intention to evict them from the four houses where the families have lived for nearly 70 years, in favor of settlers. The court ordered them to vacate their homes within two and a half months until 2 May 2021. The lawsuit is part of an organized move designed to dispossess a Palestinian community of its home and establish a settlement in Sheikh Jarrah in its place. Hundreds of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah are in a similar situation in court proceedings, and hundreds more in Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan.
Last week, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court handed down another ruling ordering the evacuation of four families (from the Shehadeh family) from their home in Batan Al-Hawa of Silwan. Since the beginning of 2020 to the present day, judgments have been given in 14 eviction claims of settlers against families in the Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah. In the rulings, the Magistrate’s Court ordered the evacuation of 36 families with 165 people, including dozens of children. 7 cases in the Batan Al-Hawa for the evacuation of 107 people from 20 families; 7 cases in Sheikh Jarrah for the evacuation of 58 people from 13 families. All the families have filed appeals and are in various stages of hearing in the district court, and some even in the Supreme Court. Dozens more families are in proceedings and may receive evictions soon. If the government does not stop the move, we might see massive evictions of families in the coming months.
The eviction lawsuits against the families of Skafi (13 individuals), Ja’uni (2 individuals) Abu Hasna (6 individuals) and Alkurd (6 individuals) were filed by a company called “Nahalat Shimon”, owned by a foreign company registered in Delaware (USA), which represents settlers seeking to build a large settlement in Sheikh Jarrah. The settlers purchased the land from two Jewish associations, the Sephardi Community Committee and the Knesset Israel Committee, which claimed to have purchased the land at the end of the 19th century.
In 1948 the land, which was then without structures, came under Jordanian rule. The Jordanians designated the land for the resettlement of dozens of Palestinian refugee families, who exchanged their refugee status for homes in the newly-built neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah. After 1967, the Jewish organizations recovered the ownership rights of the land based on the Legal and Administrative Matters Law (see below) and began to demand that the refugee families vacate their homes. To that extent, the associations were exercising the “right of return” of Jews to assets taken in 1948 (a right not afforded to Palestinians).
Dozens of Palestinian families are in danger of being evicted
In recent years, the Nahalat Shimon settler company has filed numerous lawsuits against dozens of families in Sheikh Jarrah in the Karem Ja’uni area, which are in various stages of court hearings. On March 2020, eviction procedures against the Sabbagh family were renewed after losing in court to the settlers in a similar lawsuit.
The settlement of Karem Ja’uni began in 2008 when the Al Kurd family was evicted from its home, and in 2009 the Rawi, Hanoun and part of (another) al-Kurd families. Beforehand, in the late 1990’s, settlers entered a few houses near Karem Ja’uni that were owned by Jews before 1948. Apart from the Sabagh, Dajani, Dahudi and Hammad families, there are at least seven additional eviction cases dealing with dozens of families in various stages of court hearings in Karem Ja’uni. On the western side of the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, in Um Haroun, there are another few dozens of families facing eviction lawsuits by settlers, and in Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan there are almost 100 families at risk of eviction.
The principle: the realization of the right of return for Jews
The houses in Karem Ja’uni were built in the 1950s by the Jordanian Housing Ministry as part of a refugee rehabilitation project in which 30 houses were constructed in Sheikh Jarrah for refugee families in return for waiving their status as refugees. It should be noted that the process of registering the houses in the names of the refugees was not completed before 1967. After the area was transferred to Israeli control in the 1967 War, the Jewish associations could take advantage of the lack of registration, and registered the land in their name based on the Legal and Administrative Matters Law (1970).
(for the full report published by Peace Now, 16 February 2021: https://peacenow.org.il/en/%d9%8dsheikh-jarrah-appeal-rejected-160221)