Ramallah: The Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS” has released its monthly monitor report covering the month of July 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 1/7/2021-31/7/2021 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 July (83) facilities owned by Palestinians either in the form of demolition, confiscation, 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 the case of (61) facilities. Out of those, the owners of (15) facilities were forced to self-demolish their own properties as they were threatened with fines and jail-time. Additionally, the occupation forces seized and assumed control of one facility: a trailer-park used as a medical and psychological clinic that served the needs of 1200 people in the remote area of Zwaidain, located to the east of Yatta in the Hebron Governorate.
Regarding demolition notices, the occupation forces notified (21) facilities of future demolitions or confiscations. The majority of those facilities were housing units as well as other agricultural facilities, cattle barns, and a cemetery.
The first indicator in the report pertained to the categorization of the targeted facilities (by demolitions, confiscations, and notices of future evictions) based on their type. This month’s distribution was as follows: households (27), tent housing units (1), tin housing units (5), residential rooms (3), housing units and facilities in Bedouin communities (11), agricultural rooms (5), wells, pools, and water installments (5), commercial facilities (5), agricultural facilities (4), cattle barns and farmhouses (5), storehouses (1), Retaining and regular walls (5), cemeteries (2), car-washes (1), horse stables (1), mobile trailer-park (used as a medical facility) (1), schools (1), and mobile bathroom units (1).
The second indicator pertained to the geographical distribution of the violations. The majority of the targets were in the Jerusalem Governorate where (23) facilities have been demolished. The Tubas Governorate, where (13) facilities have been demolished, came in second place, followed by the Hebron and Ramallah Governorates, were (8) 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, (21) 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 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 June was (92) individuals at the least including (5) children according to the available data.
Surveying the pretexts employed by “Israel,” the occupying power, in an attempt to legitimize its crimes, we find that (48) demolished facilities out of this month’s total of (61) demolitions were demolished under the pretext of unauthorized construction in areas (C), which are under Israeli control and yet populated by Palestinians. (12) facilities were demolished under the pretext of their presence in military training zones or firing zones (the areas are designated as such shortly before the demolition takes place). One facility was demolished as a part of the occupation’s collective punishment policy it follows against people who conduct operations against it. The facility is the house settled by the family of prisoner Muntasir Shalabi, whom the occupation accuses of having conducting a drive-by shooting at the Ze’tara Checkpoint that resulted in the murder of a settler and the injury of another.
A large occupation army force accompanied by a military bulldozer invaded Shalabi’s hometown of Turmus Ayya at dawn, circulated the house, then forced residents in nearby houses to evacuate their homes in preparation for the explosion. The force then proceeded to drill the house in various parts and planted it heavily with explosives. Later, the entire house was blown up and destroyed completely.
As for delivered demolition notices, all (21) facilities received notices under the pretext of their presence in areas (C) or due to unauthorized construction.
As for the facility that has been confiscated under the pretext of the lack of a permit, The occupation forces confiscated in the Zwaidain region, located to the east of the town of Yatta, a trailer-park used as a medical and psychological clinic that served the needs of 1200 people in that remote area.
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 July, the number of facilities whose owners were forced to self-demolish under the pretext of unauthorized construction was (15) out of (61) that were demolished overall. These facilities were (13) homes and (1) residential room in the Jerusalem Governorate as well as a house in the city of Beit Jala in the Bethlehem Governorate, all under the pretext of unauthorized construction.
The occupation forces coerced the citizen Izzat Khalil Zyada into self-demolishing his apartment in the village of Beit Safafa under the pretext of unauthorized construction. He had been warned that if the demolition processes were to be carried out by the occupation forces themselves, he’d have to pay hefty fines. In another case, the citizen Naser Ahmad Ramadan self-demolished a room and a balcony in his house in the Al-Jabal region of the town of Beit Safafa in southern East Jerusalem executing a decision issued by the Jerusalem Municipality, which ordered him to carry out the demolition under the pretext of unauthorized construction. Ramadan stated that he added the room and the balcony to his small house in 2011 to create space for his 5-member family (including 3 children the oldest of whom is 17 and the youngest of whom is 10) who had been up until that point confined to 2 small rooms and accompanying facilities.
The occupation forces coerced in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem the citizen Ayman Badr Abu Ad-Dawla into self-demolishing his 40-m2 home (the second floor of a building), built out of re-enforced iron and gypsum, under the pretext of unauthorized construction. Abu Ad-Dawla had been warned on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition were to be carried out by the forces themselves.
In Al-Isawiya, the forces also coerced citizen Muhammad Adnan Darwish into self-demolishing his still-under-construction home under the pretext of unauthorized construction after similarly warning him on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition were to be carried out by the forces.
Also in Jerusalem, the occupation forces coerced in the Wadi Qaddoum region in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood the citizen Muhammad Nassar Al-Huseini into self-demolishing his own house under the pretext of unauthorized construction after warning him on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition were to be carried out by the forces themselves. Al-Huseini stated that his 124-m2 house was divided into 3 parts: a part for his mother and father (who had died 3 months prior), a part for his sister, and a 3rd part for himself and his 7-member family (including 2 children).
In Occupied East Jerusalem’s At-Tur neighborhood, the citizen Ahmad Yousef Abu Ghannam demolished his own house/building due to a decision issued by the occupation municipality that ordered the demolition under the pretext of unauthorized construction. Abu Ghannam stated that his building was comprised of 2 floors and contained 3 occupied apartments and a 4th under construction, with a total area of 300 m2. He added that he finished the building in 2013 and settled in it back then with his family, his brother Muhammad’s family, and his sister’s Amna’s family. These families all contain 21 members.
The occupation forces also coerced in the At-Tur neighborhood the citizen Muhammad Ameen Abu Al-Hawa into self-demolishing his apartment under the pretext of unauthorized construction. Abu Al-Hawa had been warned on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the forces themselves.
In the same neighborhood, citizen Suhaib Ad-Dajani was also coerced into self-demolishing a home he owned under the pretext of unauthorized construction. The home is comprised of three 200-m2 apartments and used to be occupied by Ad-Dajani and 2 of his brothers. The occupation forces had warned Ad-Dajani on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition process were to be carried out by the forces themselves.
The occupation forces coerced in the Jabal Al-Mukaber neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem the citizen Jamal Ajaj into self-demolishing his house under the pretext of unauthorized construction after warning him on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the forces themselves had to demolish the house. Citizen Ali Khalil Shqeirat was also forced to self-demolish his 70-m2 house where he lived with his wife under the pretext of unauthorized construction. He did so to avoid the payment of massive fines, which he would done had the demolition been carried out by the occupation forces themselves.
The occupation forces coerced in an area located near the Apartheid Wall and the Gilo Settlement (constructed on the lands of Beit Jala) the citizen Izzat Khalil Isa Zyada into self-demolishing his home under the pretext of unauthorized construction. Zyada had been warned on an earlier occasion that he would have to pay extremely hefty fines if the demolition were to be carried out by the forces themselves.