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 March 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 1/3/2021-31/3/2021 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” Center, the occupation authorities targeted throughout the month of March (100) facilities owned by Palestinians either in the form of demolition, confiscation, eviction, or distribution of notices that announce similar practices in the future.

 The most prominent violations came in the form of demolitions, which took place in (64)facilities. Out of those, the owners of (12) facilities were forced to demolish their facilities on their own as they were threatened with fines and jail-time. Furthermore, the occupation forces confiscated and seized (3) facilities as follows: near the city of Qalqilya’s eastern entrance, they confiscated a container used for selling vegetables owned by citizen Kamal Yassin under the pretext of lack of authorization and due to its location in an area C, which is under Israeli control (yet populated by Palestinians). They also confiscated in the town of Al-Za’eem to the east of the occupied East Jerusalem a container that contains video-shooting and surveillance equipment owned by the citizen Muhammad Khalil. They also confiscated another container that is used as a gas station and owned by the citizen Muhammad Odeh Sa’di. Both containers were confiscated under the pretext of unauthorized construction. 

Regarding demolition notices, the occupation forces notified (33) 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/barrack-like buildings. 

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 rooms (47), tin housing units/ barrack-like homes (9), tent housing units (6), trailer park homes (1), retaining walls (1), commercial facilities (9), warehouses (5), barns and farmhouses/cattle barracks (11), agricultural rooms (7), mobile trailer parks (2), greenhouse (1), celebration hall (1).

The second indicator pertained to the geographical distribution of the violations. The majority of the targets were in the Jerusalem governorate where (24) facilities have been demolished. The Jericho and the Valley governorate, where (14) facilities have been demolished, came in second place, followed by the Hebron and Nablus Governorates, were (9) facilities have been demolished in each.

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, (33) cases have been recorded in different areas. These notices point to the future concentrated trends of the Israeli violations against Palestinians. The governorates of Jerusalem and Hebron came on top of the list, followed by Bethlehem and Nablus.

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 March was (114), including (57) children and (13) women, the suffering of whom which is amplified within the context of such violations.

Surveying 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 (62) out of (64) facilities that were demolished overall. The (2) remaining facilities were demolished under the pretext of constructing a settler construction project. In the town of Kufr Aqab in the Jerusalem governorate, they demolished a granite-stone store and warehouse owned by the citizen Sadiq Al-Hitawi to make way for the construction of a sports complex and a settler park at the expense of citizens’ lands

Regarding notices and confiscations, all the pretexts used pertained to unauthorized construction in areas (C).

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 March, the number of facilities whose owners were forced to self-demolish was (10) out of (64) that were demolished overall. All of these were in the Jerusalem governorate. (7) of these facilities were houses, (3) were commercial facilities and they were all done under the pretext of unauthorized construction.

The occupation forces coerced in the Silwan neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem the citizen Nidal Muhammad Al-Salaymeh into self-demolishing his own house under the pretext of unauthorized construction despite the fact that he is a cancer patient and lives in that home with his 5-memebr family, three of whom are children. In Al-Issawiya town in the Jerusalem governorate, they also coerced the citizen Muhammad Isa Naser Abu Riala into self-demolishing his own house under the pretext of unauthorized construction. They had previously given him a notice that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation authorities themselves. He had been living in there with his wife and 5 sons and daughters the oldest of whom is 20 years old and the youngest of whom is 16. In another incident in the Silwan neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem, the citizen Ahmad Isa Hijazi was coerced into self-demolishing his own home, which housed 14 individuals, 3 of whom are children.

The occupation forces also coerced in Al-Issawiya town in the Jerusalem governorate the citizen Sami Muhammad Sa’eed Ubeid into self-demolishing his own 100-m2 house. In the Shu’fat Camp in the same city, they coerced citizen Muhammad Bassam Al-Sabbah into self-demolishing his house (2 floors and still under construction). In Al-Issawiya, they coerced the citizen Raja’i Talal ‘tiya into self-demolishing his own house too. All of these citizens had been given notices that they would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation authorities themselves.

The occupation forces coerced in the Industrial Zone “Atarot” to the north of the city of Jerusalem the citizens Adham Tabsh Abu Sneineh and another citizen from the Al-Rajbi family into self-demolishing their commercial facilities. In Jabal Al-Mukabir neighborhood, the citizen Muhammad Husein Ja’afra was coerced into self-demolishing his own commercial facility (restaurant) under the pretext of unauthorized construction. They had previously given him a notice that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation authorities themselves.