Human Rights and Democracy Media Centers SHAMS

مركز إعلام حقوق الإنسان والديمقراطية "شمس"

Ramallah: The Human Rights and Democracy Media Center  “SHAMS”  has released its monthly monitor report covering the month of January of 2021 regarding the processes of demolition, confiscation, forced eviction and seizure carried out by “Israel,” the occupying power in the occupied Palestinian territories and targeting Palestinian facilities, whether

those pertaining to housing. The report is titled “Monthly Monitor Report on Demolition Processes and Israeli Violations against Palestinians’ Households and Facilities.  “SHAMS”  Center periodically releases specialized monthly, biannual, and annual monitor reports covering these particular kinds of violations in addition to others. 

The monitor report’s methodology is based on field-monitoring data conducted by  “SHAMS”  Center’s staff members and researchers, who monitored and recorded Israeli violations against Palestinian facilities throughout the period 1/1/2021-31/1/2021 in all West Bank’s governorates for the purpose of the releasing the monitor report. They later analyzed, disassembled and finalized them in the form of tables, which operate in accordance with a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative indicators map 

According to  “SHAMS” , the Israeli occupation forces have targeted (160) facilities owned by Palestinians throughout January of 2021, either in the form of demolition, confiscation, forced eviction, or the distribution of notices that announce the intended targeting of these facilities in the future.

The most prominent violations came in the form of demolitions, which targeted (60) facilities. Out of those, the owners of 3 facilities were forced to demolish them on their own as they were threatened with fines and jail-time. Furthermore, the occupation forces confiscated and seized 6 facilities throughout the governorates of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tulkarem. Near the entrance of the village of Nabi Samwil in the Jerusalem governorate, the occupation forces confiscated two tents, mobile medical equipment and camping gear owned by the citizens Anas Ubaid and Majid Isa Barakat, who were in the midst of the construction of a park for their fellow citizens. Near the Apartheid Wall and in an area adjacent to the village of Zeita in the Tulkarem governorate, the occupation forces confiscated a trailer park used as a store and owned by the citizen Mahmoud Taiseer Abu Al-Iz. In the village of Rakeez, located to the south-east of the town of Yatta in the Hebron governorate, the occupation forces confiscated a tin health unit owned by the citizen Muhammad Abu-‘ram.

Regarding demolition notices, the occupation forces notified (94) facilities of future demolitions, confiscation, or forced evictions. The majority of those facilities were housing units, in addition to others that were commercial, agricultural, cattle barns, and water wells. 

  In this regard, The occupation’s Magistrates’ Court of Jerusalem handed Nitham Abu Rmouz an order to evict his home in the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa mosque, to make way for the arrival of settlers in his place on the grounds that the land upon which the house is built belongs to a group of Yemenite Jews. The occupation forces have also issued a decision to demolish the home of the prisoner Muhammad Qabaha, a 2-storey building, in the town of Tura to the south-west of Jenin and within the occupied West Bank on the grounds of his conviction of the murder of a female settler. In addition, the occupation forces have handed eviction notices to 5 Bedouin families (from Al-Hathallin and Al-Muhammadin clans) in a Bedouin cluster near the Khushm Al-daraj region to the east of Yatta. The families are thereby forced to leave the area, remove their tents, and displace their cattle to make way for the conduction of military training in the area. 

The first indicator represented the categorization of the targeted facilities (by demolitions, confiscations, evictions, and future eviction notices) based on their types. This month’s distribution was as follows: households and housing units (32), tin housing units (32), housing tents (20), trailer parks (5), a school,  a building affiliated with a local village council, commercial facilities (34), one medical facility, religious facilities (3), a gas station, agricultural rooms (4), a greenhouse facility, an agricultural canopy, health facilities, rooms and units (3), cattle barns and farmhouses (13), a water well, a building foundation, retaining walls (5), and vegetable vendor’s cart. 

 The second indicator focused on the geographical distribution of the violations. The majority of the targets were in the Jerusalem governorate, where 25 facilities have been demolished. The Jenin governorate, where 11 facilities have been demolished, came in second place, followed by the Tubas governorate, were 8 facilities have been demolished.

Regarding notices that notify residents of demolitions, confiscations, evictions, orders to suspend construction activities and other practices that deprive Palestinians of their right to build and invest in their facilities, (94) cases have been recorded in different areas. These notices point to the future concentration of the Israeli violations against Palestinians. Accordingly, the governorates of Nablus, Tubas, and Hebron were the areas with the greatest number of notices pertaining to demolition, eviction, or confiscation.

Since the violations against Palestinian facilities do not take place in isolation of the population, the third indicator pertained to the targeted residents. The number of targeted residents throughout January was at least (74),including a high number of children (37) and a few women, the suffering of whom is amplified within the context of such violations.

The fourth indicator pertained to the arguments employed by “Israel,” the occupying power, in an attempt to legitimize its crimes. Surveying the arguments, the number of facilities that were demolished using under the pretext of unauthorized construction in areas C amounted to (55) (out 0f 60 facilities that were demolished overall). (5) other facilities were targeted under the pretext of their location within an area allocated for Israeli military training.

Regarding the notices, the majority of the arguments used pertained to unauthorized construction in areas C. Other pretexts were used as well. For example, the occupation forces ordered the citizen Ali Saleem Mousa, a resident of Al-Khadr town to the south of Bethlehem, to suspend his construction activity in the Jabal Abu Soada area on the grounds that it is an archeological site. In another case, Nitham Abu Rmouz was ordered by the occupation’s Magistrates’ Court of Jerusalem to evict his home in the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa mosque, in order to replace him with settlers on the grounds that the land upon which the house is built belongs to a group of Yemenite Jews. In the town of Tura to the south-east of Jenin and within the occupied West Bank, the occupation army has issued an order to demolish the 2-floor home of the prisoner Muhammad Qabaha on the grounds of his conviction of killing a female settler, an order that is characterized by the policy of collective punishment to curb acts of resistance against the occupation. Near the Khushm Al-daraj region to the east of Yatta, the occupation forces handed eviction notices to 5 Bedouin families from Al-Hathallin and Al-Muhammadin clans and ordered them to leave the area, remove their tents, and displace their cattle to make way for the conduction of military training in the area.

The last indicator pertained to the “self-demolition” orders and the deliberate intention to subjugate Palestinians by forcing them to demolish their own facilities, their own homes in particular, under the threat of hefty fines. The number of facilities whose owners were forced to self-demolish by the colonial establishment (an overlapping system of courts, domestic bodies, police forces, and the occupation army) amounted to 3 this month, all of which are located in Jerusalem: two homes, and building’s foundational ground.

In Beit Hanina, the occupation forces coerced the resident Fawwaz Abu Hammad under the pretext of unauthorized construction into demolishing his own home, where  his 7-member family resides, after he had been notified beforehand that if he were to refuse, the occupation forces would carry out the demolition and he would face extremely hefty fines as a result  

In the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem, the occupation authorities forced the resident Hatem Shaheen Al-Salaymeh to demolish a portion of his home on the grounds of unauthorized construction. Al-Salaymeh, who lives in the house with his wife and 3 children, the oldest and youngest of whom are 11 and 4 years old respectively, had been notified prior that he would face hefty legal fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation authorities. 

in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem, the occupation authorities forced the resident Amjad Ja’abees to self-demolish a building’s foundational ground (under construction) and remove a barbed fence he had erected around his property on the grounds that they are an unauthorized construction. He had also been notified earlier that he would face hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation forces. 

The monthly monitor report is concluded with an appendix that contains a detailed table that records all of the violations throughout January of 2021. The table contains the names of individuals or institutions whose rights were violated as a direct consequence of the targeting of Palestinian facilities by Israeli forces, whether by demolition, seizure, confiscation, eviction, or notices of future violations.