Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Homes, Shops Northwest of Ramallah

Note: the report is in Arabic, yet the visual video can be understood in any language.
The second man describes how he was to hold his wedding party the next day, only to wake up and see his house being demolished

The demolitions took place in occupied area C of the West Bank, under total Israeli control, and where Israel refuses to give Palestinians building permits. Due to the dire need for housing, Palestinians have no choice but to build their homes without the impossible to obtain Israeli military permits, only to be demolished by the Israeli occupation forces

Maan News Agency: Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes, shops:

"Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli authorities have demolished eight structures belonging to Palestinians in a residential area northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Al-Gharbi mayor Ghassan Abu Salem said more than a dozen military vehicles carrying armed soldiers arrived mid-morning Wednesday with military equipment to carry out the demolitions.

'They immediately began tearing down the structures,' Abu Salem said. 'They were homes and shops right on the main street, but the army said they were illegally built in 'Area C',' which falls under Israeli control.

Israeli authorities said the demolitions were justified.

'The owners were given orders to stop building but they did not,' a spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration, which coordinates non-military matters in the occupied Palestinian territories, told Ma'an.

Young men from the Palestinian village threw stones at the Israeli forces who were guarding the construction equipment after they carried out the demolitions, the official said. There were no reports of injury.

Two of the demolished structures were home to the families of Natham A’ttallah and Ahmad Ya’qub, who are now staying with relatives. Netham was preparing to host a wedding for his son Friday at the home, 'but the bulldozers smashed it down to rubble,' Abu Salem said.

Two other homes were demolished, as well, one which was already complete with the owners set to move in over the weekend, Abu Salem said. Also demolished were shops and agricultural buildings, he said.

Palestinians say the targeted area is home to many of the village's 1,500 residents.

'The matter is indicative of the occupation authorities' ongoing determination to eradicate the Palestinian presence in these areas for the benefit of settlers and settlements,” Abu Salem said.

جرافات الاحتلال تهدم منزلين لمواطنيين فلسطينيين:

aljazeerachannel | July 21, 2010
شيرين أبو عاقلة 21/7/2010

Related News:
Israeli Demolishes an Entire Village in the Jordan Valley
Mass Demolitions in the Jordan Valley
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The IDF demolished the village of Al Farisyie yesterday in the Jordan Valley, destroying 74 structures and displacing 107 people.

The mass demolition included 26 residential tents; 22 animal shelters; 7 taboun ovens; 8 kitchens; 10 bathrooms and a shed used to store agricultural equipment. As a result at least 107 people, including 52 children, lost their homes and belongings. Many families were not present during the demolition and consequently could not rescue their belongings before they were buried in the rubble. Additionally, at least 4 water tanks and large quantities of food and animal fodder were damaged or destroyed during the demolitions.

In the community of Fasayile al Fuga, the IDF also demolished the home of a family of 9, including 7 children, one of them an infant of 10 months.

The IDF handed out further "evacuation" and demolition orders in various parts of the West Bank this week, including in the community of Bardala.

The concentration of demolitions in the Jordan Valley is a continuation of Israel's policy to strangle Palestinian communities in the area via house demolitions, land expropriation, and appropriation of water resources, collectively aimed at annexing the valley into Israel. Last year, the IDF intensified its campaign against Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley, declaring large areas Closed Military Zones and issuing evacuation orders against entire villages.

Inline with recent statements, the IDF has stepped up its campaign of house demolitions generally in Area C this year. Atleast 198 Palestinian structures have been demolished across the West Bank since the beginning of the year, resulting in the forced displacement of almost 300 people, half of them children.

To read the Haaretz article about the demolitions yesterday in Al Farisye, visit -

Amnesty International:
Israel intensifies West Bank Palestinian home demolitions

21 July 2010

Amnesty International has today called on the Israeli authorities to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and other buildings in the West Bank, after a further 74 were destroyed in the Jordan Valley earlier this week.

The demolitions were carried out by the Israeli military in the villages of Hmayyir and 'Ein Ghazal in the area of al-Farisiya on Monday, displacing 107 people, including 52 children.

According to UN figures, at least 198 Palestinian structures in the West Bank have been demolished this year, resulting in the forced displacement of almost 300 Palestinians, half of them children, while 600 others have also been affected.

"These recent demolitions intensify concerns that this is part of a government strategy to remove the Palestinian population from the parts of the West Bank known as Area C, over which Israel has complete control in terms of planning and construction," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Among the property destroyed by the Israeli military on Monday were residential tents, separate kitchens and washrooms, agricultural buildings, and animal pens.

The army also damaged water tanks, wheat for human consumption and animal fodder.

The demolition came three weeks after the military handed out eviction orders in the village. Residents were told they had 24 hours to leave the area.

Unlike many other areas of the Jordan Valley, the communities of Hmayyir and 'Ein Ghazal had not experienced demolitions in the past.

According to Palestinian and Israeli media reports the Israeli military authority said the evictions were ordered because the homes are in a "closed military zone".

Most of the Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank has been declared a "closed military zone" by the Israeli army or has been taken over by some 36 Israeli settlements.

In a "closed military zone" Palestinians are forbidden from carrying out building construction and development.

On 24 June, the Israeli military also served eviction notices on two families - 15 people including five children - in the village of 'Ein al-Hilwe in the northern Jordan Valley and on a building for housing livestock in the nearby village of 'Ein al-Beida. Both villages are in Area C.

The buildings have not yet been demolished.

On 15 July, two buildings situated in a part of Area C southwest of Hebron in the West Bank were destroyed.

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on 19 July, the Israeli military authorities in the West Bank are acting on government orders to intensify its enforcement against what they deem to be "illegal" building in Area C.

Under the Oslo Accords, the Israeli authorities retain both civil and military control over areas designated as Area C, which make up more than 60 per cent of the West Bank.

The estimated 150,000 Palestinians living there face severe restrictions on building and also on their freedom of movement.

There are no Palestinian representatives on the planning institutions for Area C and, moreover, Palestinian residents in these areas have only very limited ability to submit objections to eviction and demolition.

"The current system whereby the Israeli military has sole responsibility for what Palestinians can or cannot build in the majority of the occupied West Bank is unacceptable," said Philip Luther. “Planning and building decisions should lie with the local Palestinian communities.”

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