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 May 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 1/5/2021-31/5/2021 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 May (30) 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 (10)facilities. Out of those, the owners of (2) facilities were forced to self-demolish their own property as they were threatened with fines and jail-time. Furthermore, the occupation forces confiscated and seized (2) facilities. In the village of Sebastia (in the Roman ruins area) in the Nablus Governorate, the occupation forces confiscated a trailer park used for agricultural purposes and owned by the citizen Abdul-Aziz Rayeq Al-Nabulsi. They also confiscated in the Kafrour region near the village of Tell a container owned be the citizen Ghassan Al-Seifi, a resident of the village.

Regarding demolition notices, the occupation forces notified (18) facilities of future demolitions, confiscations, or forced evictions. The majority of those facilities were housing units, in addition to others that were commercial, agricultural, and medical facilities.

The first indicator in the report pertained to 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 (14), tent housing units (2), commercial facilities (1), cattle barns (3), warehouses (6), a mobile trailer park (1), and agricultural trailer park (1), and a medical facility.

The second indicator pertained to the geographical distribution of the violations. The majority of the targets were in the Hebron Governorate where (5) facilities have been demolished. The Bethlehem Governorate, where (4) facilities have been demolished, came in second place, followed by the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate, were (1) faculty has 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, (18) cases have been recorded in different areas. These notices point to the future concentrated trends of the Israeli violations against Palestinians. The governorates of Ramallah and Nablus were the two areas where that largest number of cases was documented.

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 May was (15) individuals at the least.

Surveying the pretexts employed by “Israel,” the occupying power, in an attempt to legitimize its crimes, we find that all of the (10) demolished facilities this month were demolished under the pretext of unauthorized construction in areas (C), which are under Israeli control and yet populated by Palestinians.

As for delivered demolition notices, (10) facilities were targeted under the pretext of proximity to the Apartheid Wall. The occupation forces delivered demolition notices to 10 Palestinian houses in the towns of Ni’lin and Dayr Qaddis in the Ramallah Governorate in central West Bank. Ni’lin’s mayor Imad Al-Khawaja said the forces delivered notices to 2 houses in the Al-Mhallal region to the south of Ni’lin and 8 other houses in the adjacent town of Dayr Qaddis. The occupation forces is using the pretext that these houses pose a “danger to the location where they’re built” due to their proximity to the Apartheid Wall.

(7) other facilities received demolition notices under the pretext of unauthorized construction in a (C)-designated area. The Israeli occupation forces delivered a notice of demolition to a medical clinic in the Beirain region to the east of Yatta and a 96-hour demolition notice to 6 warehouses owned by the citizen Ahmad Abu Zaid, a resident of Deir Sharaf in the Nablus Governorate under the pretext of unauthorized construction in an area (C).

(1) facility was given a demolition notice under the pretext of a shooting incident that had taken place at the Za’tara Checkpoint. The notice of demolition was delivered to the family of the prisoner Muntasir Shalabi in the town of Turmus Aya the Ramallah Governorate. According to army’s spokesperson, the family was given a period of time to appeal the decision before a court. The occupation forces accuse Shalabi of having conducted a drive-by shooting more than 2 weeks prior.

As for confiscations, (2) facilities were confiscated and/or seized under the pretext of the lack of authorization.

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 May, the number of facilities whose owners were forced to self-demolish was (2) out of (10) that were demolished overall. The two facilities are a house and a cattle barn owned by the same individual in the village of Freidis in the Bethlehem Governorate, who was ordered to demolish them on his own under the pretext of unauthorized construction. The citizen is Mahmoud Al-Wah-sh, and he was coerced into self-demolishing his 40-m2 sheep farm and 60-m2 house. He had been notified earlier that if the demolition process were to be carried out by the occupation forces themselves, he would have to pay extremely hefty fines.

Click here to access the full report