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 February of 2021 on 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 they are religious, touristic, industrial, commercial, formal, agricultural or particularly 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.

This monitor report’s methodology is based on observed field data conducted by “SHAMS” Center’s staff members and researchers, who monitored and recorded Israeli violations against Palestinian facilities throughout the period 1/2/2021-28/2/2021 in all of the West Bank’s governorates for the purpose of the releasing this monitor report. They later analyzed, disassembled and finalized them in the form of tables all in accordance with a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative indicators.

According to “SHAMS”, the Israeli occupation forces have targeted (265) facilities owned by Palestinians throughout February 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 took place in (194)facilities. Out of those, the owners of (9) 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 one facility. This took place in Um Al-Khair village located to the east of the town of Yatta in the Hebron governorate, where occupation forces confiscated a tent owned by the Al-Hathaleen family.

As for demolition notices, the occupation forces notified (65) facilities of future demolitions, confiscations, or forced evictions. The majority of those facilities were housing units, in addition to others that were commercial and agricultural facilities as well as cattle barns/barracks. Regarding forced evictions, the Israeli occupation authorities handed a lawyer representing the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood families in the town of Silwan, located to the south of Jerusalem’s Old Town, a ruling of the Israeli Magistrate’s Court that orders the eviction of a building owned by the citizen Younis Shhada and his sons’s families and the subsequent handing over of that building to the Ateret Cohanim settler organization. The building is comprised of 5 apartments that house about 22 individuals.

In alignment with the occupation’s policy of harassing citizens in the Northern Jordan Valley, the occupation forces caused through their military training in the Khila Ijmai’ area the burning of a tent with everything it contained that is owned by the citizen Fayez Muhammad Sbaih.

The first indicator represented the categorization of the targeted facilities (by demolitions, confiscations, evictions, and notices of future evictions) based on their type. This month’s distribution was as follows: households and housing units (69), cattle barns and barracks (62), housing tents (57), vegetable vendors’ carts (52), tin housing units (4), trailer-park housing units (2), commercial facilities (3), agricultural rooms (1), agricultural canopies (2), water wells (7), pitch/field (1), retaining walls (2), one touristic facility, one water tank, and a health unit.

The second indicator pertained to the geographical distribution of the violations. The majority of the targets were in the Tubas governorate, where (104) facilities have been demolished. The Jenin governorate, where (52) facilities have been demolished, came in second place, followed by the Jerusalem governorate, were (17) 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, (65) cases have been recorded in different areas. These notices point to the future concentrated trends of the Israeli violations against Palestinians. The governorates of Nablus and Salfeet came on top of the list, followed by Hebron.

The third indicator pertained to the targeted population since the violations against Palestinian facilities do not take place in isolation of the population. the number of targeted residents throughout February was at least (184), including (78) children and (7) women, the suffering of whom which is amplified within the context of such violations

The fourth indicator pertained to the the pretexts employed by “Israel,” the occupying power, in an attempt to legitimize its crimes, we find that the number of facilities that were demolished under the pretext of unauthorized construction in areas (C) was (142) out of (194) facilities that were demolished overall. (51) other facilities were targeted under the pretext of their proximity to occupation checkpoints or the Apartheid Wall. Regarding notices and confiscations, all the pretexts used pertained to unauthorized construction in areas (C). Forced evictions were carried out under the pretext of handing the facilities to the Ateret Cohanim settler organization.

The last indicator focused on “self-demolition,” which represents a particular type of systemic and concentrated subjugation in which Palestinians are forced to demolish their own homes and facilities under the threat of hefty fines. Throughout February, the number of facilities whose owners were forced to self-demolish was (9) out of (194) that were demolished overall. (7) of these were in the Jerusalem governorate, (1) in the Hebron governorate, and (1) more in the Bethlehem governorate. (3) of these facilities were houses, (3) were cattle barns, (1) was a housing tent, (1) housing room, and (1) commercial facility all under the pretext of unauthorized construction.

In the Shu’fat neighborhood of Jerusalem, the occupation forces coerced the citizen Jihad ‘awad-Allah into self-demolishing his home which consists of two floors (two apartments). The area of each is 120 square meters. The occupation forces had warned him on an earlier occasion that he ought to do so to avoid hefty fines, which he would have paid had the demolition under the pretext of unauthorized construction been carried out by the occupation forces.

In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud, the occupation forces coerced the citizen Mu’taz Khalil into self-demolishing his two-floor home under the pretext of unauthorized construction. The occupation forces also forced the family of the citizen Abu Wahdan in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood to self-demolish an external room attached to their home and built out of iron bars and cloth. In the Tha’la region located to the East of the town of Yatta, the citizen Omar Shinran was coerced into self-removing a housing tent in which he lived with his 13 family members, after he’d been notified earlier to do so.

In the Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem too, the occupation forces forced the citizen Omar Siam to self-demolish two cattle-rearing barns. The forces had warned him on an earlier occasion that he ought to do so to avoid hefty fines, which he would have paid had the demolition under the pretext of unauthorized construction been carried out by the occupation forces. In the Al-Fireidis village in Bethlehem, the occupation forces coerced the citizen Suleiman Ahmad Al-wahsh into self-demolishing a 60-meter-squared cattle-rearing barn under the pretext of unauthorized construction. In Jerusalem’s Ras Al-Amoud neighborhood, the citizen Ihsan Abu Al-Soud was coerced into self-demolishing his 17-year-old commercial facility (car repair workshop), the area of which is 120 meter squared, under the pretext of unauthorized construction. He had been warned that, if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation forces, he would face hefty fines.

The monthly monitor report is concluded with an appendix that contains a detailed table that records all of the violations throughout February 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.