Demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank

Posted by Caabu on 18 Aug 2016

Demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank

There has been an alarming increase in the number of Palestinian structures demolished by Israel in 2016. According to figures from UNOCHA, by the start of August 2016, 614 Palestinian structures were demolished in the West Bank and 112 in East Jerusalem. The total for all of 2015 was 447 and 74 in East Jerusalem. This has meant that 919 Palestinians have been displaced in the West Bank as a result of Israel's home demolitions, and 101 in East Jerusalem. The number of demolitions and displaced peoples so far in 2016 has well surpassed the figures for the whole of 2015. For all of 2015, 564 were displaced in the West Bank, 72 in East Jerusalem. On average for the first seven months of 2016, 23 Palestinian-owned structures have been destroyed each week in the West Bank, and four in East Jerusalem. This included a significant rise in the demolitions of internationally/EU– funded projects and privately owned developments which increased to an average of 165 per month, from an average of 50 during 2012-2015. An EU statement made in August 2016 said that the demolitions raised “legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”

Home demolitions have been used by Israel as a means of creating space to expand settlements, discouraging Palestinians from living in Area C of the Occupied West Bank and as a form of collective punishment. From the very outset of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in 1967, it instituted a planning, development and construction policy whereby construction by Palestinians was restricted while Israeli settlements were allocated very extensive areas for establishment and expansion. As a result of these restrictive planning laws, many Palestinian structures – including homes, schools, water cisterns and farming infrastructure – are deemed to have been built illegally even though many pre-dated the occupation. They are therefore subject to demolition orders.

These demolition orders have increased over recent years. Israel’s High Court of Justice has refused to apply the absolute prohibition in customary international law against the collective punishment of civilians in occupied territory when ruling on petitions against punitive home demolitions. It claims that the demolitions could be justified as “proportionate”. In January 2015, the EU unanimously adopted a resolution opposing settlement-building in the occupied Palestinian territories. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, described the resolution as “a good and common basis for our common position and also our engagement in the Middle East peace process.”

Many of the home demolitions are carried out in strategic areas of the West Bank.  Israel has always wanted to annex the Jordan Valley hence has attempted to push Palestinians out – home demolitions being one of the key tactics.  Demolitions in and around Jerusalem are designed to ensure that Israel can take the entire city for itself and pressure the Palestinians to leave.

Of the 70km2 of the West Bank illegally annexed by Israel in 1967, 35% has been confiscated for settlement building, 30% is declared “green zones” on which it is forbidden to build, and only 13% is zoned for Palestinian building.  The Jerusalem municipality estimates that accommodating natural growth amongst the Palestinian population (66,000 in 1967, now 390,000) would necessitate building 1,500 new housing units per year; just 14,000 housing units have been approved between 1967 and 2015.  As a result, much construction goes ahead illegally, leaving Palestinians vulnerable to demolitions. The Israeli Civil Administration has been trying to force some 2,700 Palestinians living in dozens of shepherding communities in the Jordan Valley to leave the area, by such means as repeatedly demolishing their homes, evacuating them for short periods for military training in the area, and confiscating water tanks. According to figures released by CSAWGD, 70% of all demolitions in the West Bank between January and March 2014 occurred in the Jordan Valley.

Timeline of 2016 demolitions

August 2016

17/08/2016 - Demolitions reported in an Area C part of Beit Ula, Duma and Khirbat al Marajim

16/08/2016 - Demolition in Anata, reportedly a car dealership that employed 15 Palestinians

15/08/2016 - Demolition reported this morning in Jabal al Mukabbir, area of East Jerusalem, Jurat al Khiel and Bir Onah

 

14/08/2016 - Punitive demolition reported in Bani Na'im, reportedly at the home of a Palestinian teenager who was killed by a security guard on June 30 after carrying out a deadly attack against 13-year-old Israeli girl.11/08/2016 - Demolitions reported in Barta'a ash Sharqiya and Fuqeiqis

9/08/2016 - 5 homes demolished in Umm Al-Khair. The UNOCHA figures havesaid this has left 22 homeless and has affected more than 80. Other figures including from B'Tselem have been higher, suggesting 27 people have been left homeless, including 16 minors. This was one family’s 8th demolition.

08/08/2016 Fasayil village in the Jordan Valley: two homes were demolished, leaving 12 people including seven minors homeless. 

In Yatta (Hebron), Israeli forces destroyed the family homes as a punitive measure of the two perpetrators of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on 8 June 2016 that killed four Israelis; 13 people, including six children, were displaced as a result.

04/08/2016 - Al-Mu’arrajat Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley: four homes demolished, leaving 14 people – including two minors – homeless.

2/08/2016 - 8/08/2016 - Demolitions reported in Sabastiya, Farsh al Hawa, Hebron, Khirbet ar Ratheem, Yatta. There were additional demolitions in Beit Hanina, An Nabi Samwil, and Sur Bahir in Jerusalem. In total this led to the destruction or forced abandonment of 42 structures for lack of building permits, displacing 30 people and otherwise affecting over 1,200. Twelve of the targeted structures had been previously provided as humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelters, animal sheds, latrines, a community centre, and a water connection; the confiscation of the latter means that nearly 1,000 Palestinians in five herding communities in the Jordan Valley will continue to suffer water scarcity.

July 2016

26/07/2016 - 02/08/2016 - The demolitions in this week displaced 17 people and otherwise affected another 221. Twenty Palestinian-owned structures were demolished in East Jerusalem due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, bringing the number of Palestinian-owned structures demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2016 to 114, an over 40 per cent increase compared to the entire 2015.

26/07/16 - Israeli authorities demolished 15 structures in a section of Qalandia village that falls within the Israeli-declared municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but is separated from the rest of the city by the Barrier, due to the lack of building permits; six people were displaced and almost 180 were otherwise affected as a result.

12/07/16 and 13/07/16 - Israeli authorities demolished 23 structures in Area C (‘Anata town and the adjacent Bedouin community of North ‘Anata Bedouins) and East Jerusalem (Jabal Al Mukabbir), due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 43 persons, including 25 children and affecting another 43 people.

June 2016

21/06/16 - In Hajja village (Qalqiliya), Israeli forces demolished the family home of the perpetrator of a stabbing attack on March 2016, in which a foreign national, as well as the perpetrator, were killed; five people, including two children, were displaced as a result.

14/06/16 - 20/06/16 - In Area C, the Israeli authorities demolished seven structures for lack of Israeli­ issued building permits in the Hebron governorate, five of them in Susiya village, displacing 19 Palestinians, including 12 children. 

11/06/16 - in Beit ‘Amra (Hebron), Israeli forces destroyed the family home of a 15 year-old Palestinian boy, currently being prosecuted for the stabbing and killing of an Israeli woman in the settlement of ‘Otni'el in January 2016. Six people, including a child, were displaced as a result.

05/06/16 - Israeli authorities dismantled and confiscated six residential shelters and two caravans used as a kindergarten in the Area C Palestinian Bedouin community of Sateh al Bahr (Jericho), on grounds of lack of permits. The targeted structures had been provided as humanitarian assistance and funded by the oPt Humanitarian Fund. Six families were displaced and thirteen children served by the kindergarten were affected.

May 2016

16/05/16// At 5am, eight EU-donated mobile homes were dismantled by Israeli authorities without giving prior notice in the Jabal al-Baba neighbourhood in the outskirts of the village of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem. The majority of those living in the caravans were children. 06/05/16// a 36-year-old Palestinian woman, and mother of three, was forcibly evicted by the Israeli authorities from East Jerusalem, where she has been living for years, on grounds of lack of a residency permit. Caabu led two delegations to Jabal al-Baba in February and April 2016. 

05/05/16// In Nablus city, the Israeli authorities punitively demolished the family home of a Palestinian man currently in detention and under prosecution for the killing of two Israeli settlers on 1 October 2015.

April 2016

26/04/16 -02/05/16// - In an Area C part of Qalqiliya city, the Israeli authorities demolished three livelihood-related structures. 10 Palestine refugee families, including 32 children, were affected.

12/04/16 - 18/04/16// Israeli authorities demolished seven structures. These included three residential structures in Al Walaja village (Bethlehem), two livelihood structures in Barta’a ash Sharqiya (Jenin), and a donor-funded park in Za’tara (Nablus), and a retaining wall near Al Arrub Refugee Camp (Hebron). 

05/04/2016 – 11/04/2016// Israeli authorities demolished, and in one case forced the owners to self-demolish, 71 structures, including 23 structures that had been provided as humanitarian assistance. As a result, 159 Palestinians, including 75 children, were displaced and 326 others were otherwise affected. The largest incident (34 structures) took place in the herding community of Khirbet Tana (Nablus), located in an area designated as a “firing zone” for military training. 

March 2016

“These actions are indicative of a damaging trend of demolition, displacement and land confiscation, and alongside settlement-related activity and continued construction, work against the possibility of a two-state solution and call into question the Israeli government’s commitment to that twostate solution.”

31/03/2016// Israeli authorities demolished 36 structures due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. 28 Palestinians, including 11 children, were displaced and 110 others were affected. Of the structures, 16 were located in East Jerusalem, five in the Ramallah governorate, five in Jericho governorate; four in Jenin governorate; four in the Nablus governorate, and two in Hebron governorate.  Israeli forces confiscated around 160 sheep on the grounds that they were grazing near the 1949 Armistice Line “Green Line”.  

31/03/2016 – 04/04/2016// Israeli authorities carried out four punitive demolitions in Hebron city and Qabatiya (Jenin) against the family homes of the suspected perpetrators of two attacks that took place in December 2015 and February 2016. 21 Palestinians, including seven children, were displaced as a result, and 15 injuries were recorded during clashes that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces during two of the demolitions.   

23/03/2016// Israeli forces took over a house under construction in Hizma village. According to the owner, Israeli forces have been using the house on a weekly basis since October 2015.

23/03/2016// Israeli authorities demolished 60 structures, 19 of which were built as humanitarian assistance for previous demolitions. 95 Palestinians, including 40 children were displaced. The largest incident occurred in Khirbet Tana (Nablus). 

10/03/2016// Israeli authorities demolished the home of a perpetrator of an attack which took place in November 2015 in Hebron City. A family of six, including three children were displaced. Punitive demolitions count as collective penalty, which goes against international law. 

08/03/2016// Israeli forces demolished and forced owners to self-demolish 20 structures. Half of the structures were in East Jerusalem, three in the Bethlehem governorate, seven in the Nablus governorate. 73 people, including 33 Palestinian refugees, were affected. 

04/03/2016// UNOCHA notes the dramatic increase in Israeli home demolitions, stating that These are some of the highest levels of demolition and displacement recorded in a similar time frame since 2009”. Since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces have destroyed 323 homes and other structures across the West Bank, the vast majority in Area C, displacing almost 440 Palestinians. More than half of those displaced were children. Roughly one third of the structures targeted so far this year (108) were provided as humanitarian assistance to families in need.

02/03/2016// The Israeli Civil Administration demolished 41 structures in the Area C community of Khirbet Tana. The demolition displaced ten families with 36 members, including 11 children

February 2016

25/02/2016// The Israeli Authorities issued 9 home demolitions in the village of al-Issawiya due to lack of building permits.

21/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished the sole school in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar.

20/02/2016// Israeli soldiers expelled a farming family at gunpoint from their private field in Beit Ummar.

16/02/2016// The Israeli authorities issued 12 demolition orders to Bedouins, in the Jabal al-Baba community in the E1 corridor,east of Jerusalem.

12/02/2016//The Israeli authorities issued a punitive home demolition order to the family of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly attack in an illegal Israeli settlement last month.

11/02/2016// Israeli forces and bulldozers stormed the Palestinian communities of al-Farisiya and Khallet al-Khader and demolished seven homes, displacing seven families.

11/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished 35 structures in the Bardala and Ein al-Baida communities in the Jordan Valley.

09/02/2016// 10 homes and structures were demolished in Khirbet Tana, Nablus.

08/02/2016// Israel to demolish 15 corrugated metal homes near Nablus city.

07/02/2016// Four homes ‘closed and confiscated’ in Sur Bahar, East Jerusalem. Collective punishment for four Palestinians aged 16-19 accused of throwing stones. Court has yet to pass final judgement on the case.

07/02/2016// Two homes demolished in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus' Yitma village on the grounds of the buildings lacking permits.

06/02/2016// EU calls on Israel to stop home demolitions, settlement expansion.

05/02/2016// Israeli authorities hand demolition order to family of stabbing attack suspect.

05/02/2016// Israel demolishes 9 Palestinian structures in Jordan Valley. Israeli forces demolished five homes and four other Palestinian-owned structures in the town of Tammun. Some of the structures demolished were donated by the EU.

04/02/2016// Israeli forces demolish four tents that were home to two families – a total of 19 people, including 12 minors were rendered homeless.

04/02/2016// Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated two tents in Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. The tents were home to a family of eight, including six minors. The tents were donated to the family after their two previous tents were demolished on 20 January 2016.

02/02/2016// Israeli forces demolish 24 structures, including several homes, in southern Hebron, in the village of Masafer Yatta.

02/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian homes in the village of Sur Bahar.

02/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished fifteen structures in Khirbet Jenbah. The structures were home to sixty people, including 32 minors.

02/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished seven structures in Khirbet al-Halawah. The structures were home to fifty people, including 32 minors.

01/02/2016// Israeli forces demolished four corrugated iron Bedouin homes in the Ein Ayub area of Ramallah, leaving 22 people homeless.

January 2016

28/01/2016// Israel destroys Negev mosque, issues mass demolition order in Nablus, homes of 85 civilians are due to be included in the order.

27/01/2016// Israeli forces tore down two buildings in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming one had been built without permits, while the other stood in the way of a new route connecting Israeli settlements.

21/01/2016// Israeli forces demolish 3 homes, leaving 14 people homeless including 3 minors, in the Jabal al-Baba Bedouin neighbourhood of the village of al-Eizariya in the Jerusalem-area.

20/01/2016// Israeli forces demolish a home in Beit Hanina.

20/01/2016// Civil Administration and military representatives came to Khirbet Susiya and demolished two residential tents that were home to a family of eight, including six minors.

20/01/2016// Israeli authorities demolished a home under construction belonging to a Palestinian in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan.

20/01/2016// Israeli forces deliver punitive demolition notice to a prisoner's family n the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit.

19/01/2016// US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said the US was "concerned and perplexed" by Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territory in a nearly unprecedented condemnation of Israeli policy.

18/01/2016// Israeli forces demolished two structures in two occupied West Bank villages in Ramallah.

14/01/2016// Israeli forces demolished a home under construction and uprooted olive trees in the village of Beit Ummar north of Hebron.

14/01/2016// Israeli forces demolish four greenhouses and a water well in the Jordan Valley.

13/01/2016// Civil Administration and military representatives came to Khirbet a-Rahwah and demolished the residential tent of a family of nine, including seven minors, as well as a livestock pen belonging to the family.

09/01/2016// Israeli forces demolished the family home, in the village of Surda, of a Palestinian suspected of having killed two Israelis in October.

07/01/2016// Israeli bulldozers under army escort demolished three Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Silwan and Beit Safafa.

06/01/2016// Israeli forces demolished five dwellings housing 25 Palestinian Bedouins in the Abu Nuwwar community east of Jerusalem.

04/01/2016// Israeli forces demolished the family home of a Palestinian attacker killed in October and sealed off the home of another attacker's family with cement.

 

Villages involved in 2016 demolitions

Abu Nuwwar. A community East of Jerusalem, part of the wider E1 corridor. In early January, 25 Palestinian Bedouins were rendered homeless following Israeli demolitions. Israeli military and police vehicles surrounded the area at around 8:30 am on 6 January 2016, before bulldozers demolished five dwellings and an agricultural structure. The families were not given any time to remove their belongings before the dwellings - made of steel, wood, and canvas - were torn down. A spokesperson from the community showed the officer in charge a court decision banning demolitions, but the officer to refused to acknowledge its content and told the spokesperson that he had an order from the Civil Administration. Abu Nuwwar is one of several Bedouin villages facing forced evacuation due to plans by Israeli authorities to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in the E1 corridor. Settlement construction in E1 would effectively divide the West Bank and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state - as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - almost impossible.  On the 21 February, the sole school for the Bedouin community was demolished by the Israeli authorities, the contents of the school were reportedly seized as well.

Ain al-Rashash. An area near the village of Duma in Southern Nablus. 85 residents were handed demolition orders for their homes in late January. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, confirmed the demolition order and stated that “the Israeli authorities are committing a humanitarian massacre against Palestinians in the area, especially as they have been in the area for dozens of years.” . Daghlas called on all appropriate human rights and humanitarian organisations to pressure the Israeli government to stop the “inhumane” demolition order, which he said directly supports Israeli settlement in the area.

Bardala and Ein al-Baida. Two communities in the Jordan Valley. On the 11 February 2016, Israeli forces demolished 35 structures in these communities.

 

Beita. A village located in southeast of Nablus city in the northern occupied West Bank. 15 corrugated homes were demolished in this village in early February 2016.

Beit Amra. Located in the in the Yatta area of the southern West Bank. The family of Mourad Adais was punitively targeted in this village after he was suspected of allegedly killing an Israeli settler in January.

Beit Hanina. A neighbourhood located in the Occupied East Jerusalem. A home was demolished here on the 20 January 2016 as it did not have a proper construction permit. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have been under threat of displacement since the Israeli government enacted a policy of “Judaization” in the area since its occupation in 1967, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Over 6,000 homes were demolished immediately after the occupation began and four neighbourhoods were razed entirely, according to documentation by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The group has documented nearly 50,000 demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territory since.

Beit Ummar. A neighbourhood located in North Hebron. A home under construction was demolished as well as several olive trees being uprooted. Israeli troops also demolished a barn, which was built in 2002 on 600 square meters of land belonging to Khaled Samahin, and caused damage worth 250,000 shekels ($63,345). Israeli forces also demolished a Palestinian-owned barn and structure near the Beit al-Baraka church, which was covertly purchased in 2012 by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz with the intention of turning it into a settlement outpost. On the 20 February 2016, the Sleibi family were expelled at gunpoint from their private agricultural land on the outskirts of Beit Ummar, the family had previously obtained a permit to work on the land but fled as they “feared for their lives”.

Beit Ur al-Tahta. A village in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank. On the 12February 2016, the Israeli authorities issued a punitive home demolition order to the family of Ibrahim Allan who carried out a deadly attack in an illegal Israeli settlement in January 2016.

Ein Ayub. An area in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank. On the 1 February 2016, 22 people were rendered homeless here following the demolition of four Palestinian Bedouin homes. Locals said Israeli military vehicles stormed the area from a bypass road near the homes leading to illegal Israeli settlements. In the next half-hour, Israeli bulldozers then tore down the makeshift homes of corrugated iron, wood and canvas. Locals added that Israeli forces did not give the families enough time to evacuate their belongings before they destroyed the dwellings. It was not clear whether the demolition was carried out with or without prior notice.

Al-Issawiya.  A village in the occupied East Jerusalem. On 25 February 2016, the Israeli authorities issued 9 home demolitions in the village due to lack of correct building permits.

Jabal al-Baba. A neighbourhood in the village of al-Eizariya, in East Jerusalem. Three Palestinian Bedouin homes were demolished here on the 21 January 2016. Israeli bulldozers escorted by Israeli forces raided and surrounded the Jabal al-Baba neighbourhood of the village of al-Eizariya, forcibly evacuated residents, and demolished the houses. This demolition order left 14 people homeless including 3 minors. The demolition was sudden and without prior notice, taking place despite the fact that an Israeli court had frozen all demolition orders in the area in 2015. The residents of the neighbourhood were held at gunpoint for hours while the demolition took place, causing fear and panic among the children present. The families' furniture and possessions were still inside when the housing structures were destroyed. The mobile homes were donated by the EU and could have easily been taken apart instead of demolished according to locals. Israeli forces also levelled the lands on which the houses were standing in order to prevent any attempts at reconstruction. Jabal al-Baba is one of several Bedouin villages facing repeated demolitions due to plans by Israeli authorities to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in the E1 corridor. On 16 February 2016, a demolition order was issued in the village for 11 Bedouin homes and a mosque. This took place the day before a Caabu delegation visited the community. The demolition order also extended to the tent that British Parliamentarians were welcomed in by the community.

Jabal al-Mukabbir. A neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Two homes were rendered incapacitated (one demolished, one sealed with cement) here as a means of collective punishment by the Israeli government in mid January.  Israeli forces reportedly stormed the homes and ordered the families to evacuate them before they proceeded with the demolitions. Punitive home demolitions were expedited at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in mid-October, and many have been carried out since. The move came despite past recommendations by an Israeli military committee that the practice does not deter attacks. On 27 January 2016, 2 more homes were demolished in the neighbourhood; the demolitions took place without prior notice. One was demolished as it lacked correct building permits, while the other in the Shufat neighbourhood was demolished to clear way for a road. The family in Shufat had been living in the house since 2000, after building on a piece of land they purchased; the Jerusalem Municipality has issued several demolition orders on the home since. During the demolition, Israeli forces assaulted locals who gathered near the home during the demolition using batons, physical force, and pepper spray. Eighteen Palestinians were left with injuries following the incident, including three Red Crescent paramedics. Route 21, the road the house was demolished to make way for - will run through Shufat to connect the illegal Israeli settlements of Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Shlom and Neve Yaakov. The plans are expected to divide the neighbourhood in two and will require the confiscation of hundreds of dunams of land.

Khallet al-Khader and al-Farisiya. Two Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley. On 11 February 2016, Israeli forces and bulldozers stormed the communities and demolished seven homes, displacing seven families.

Kharbatha. A village in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank. On 18 January 2016, Israeli forces demolished a garage belonging to a resident identified as Jamal Ahmad Darraj, as well as an extra room attached to a house belonging to Hamdi Abu Khalil. Israeli forces also damaged a quarry belonging to Ahmad al-Habiba.

Khirbet al-Ras al-Ahmar. Herding community in this village forcibly displaced by the Israeli army for nine hours during a military exercise in January 2016. Their village is in a so called ‘military zone’ and is destined to be demolished.

Khirbet a-Rahwah. On 13 January 2016, Civil Administration and military representatives demolished the residential tent of a family of nine, including seven minors, as well as a livestock pen belonging to the family. This tent was already destroyed by the Civil Administration about a year ago and rebuilt since. The force also confiscated a solar panel donated to the family by humanitarian aid organisations.

Khirbet Susiya. A community in the South Hebron Hills. On 20 January 2016, at around midday, Civil Administration and military representatives came to Khirbet Susiya and demolished two residential tents that were home to a family of eight, including six minors.On 4 February 2016, Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated the same two tents in the area. The tents were home to a family of eight, including six minors. The tents were donated to the family after their two previous tents were demolished on 20 January 2016. In Khirbet Susiya, the authorities are planning to expel all residents in order to allow settlers to seize control of their land. Demolition orders have been issued for all structures in the community. The residents are waging a legal and public battle against the demolition orders and in favor of their right to continue to live on their land. The claims of illegal construction are intended to mask Israel’s derogation of its obligations: to permit the residents of the West Bank to live their lives without disruption, and – as the occupying power – to ensure the development of their communities to a degree permitting a dignified life that meets their needs. Caabu delegations have visited Susiya in December 2013, September 2015 and February 2016.

Khirbet Tana. Located east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, is home to some 300 Palestinians who belong to a herding community and have lived in the area for decades. Khirbet Tana is part of around 20 percent of the occupied West Bank that has been declared a “closed military zone” by Israeli authorities, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). Israel’s Civil Administration demolished all of the structures in Khirbet Tana in 2011, leaving 152 Palestinian residents homeless, including 64 children, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem. On 2March 2016the Israeli Civil Administration demolished 41 structures in the Area C community of Khirbet Tana, south-east of Nablus city. The demolition displaced ten families with 36 members, including 11 children, and affected the livelihoods of five additional families. Twelve of the demolished structures had been provided by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society as humanitarian assistance; one of the demolished structures was a building that had served as an elementary school for nine students. The Israeli authorities had also previously demolished the community’s original school in 2011.

Al Mkassar. A shepherding community in the northern Jordan Valley. On 4February, 19 people, including 12 minors, were made homeless following the demolition of four tents. These families had already lost their homes in a previous demolition in June 2015.

Masafer Yatta - Khirbet Jenbah, Khirbet al-Halawah and al-Tabban . A community in southern Hebron consisting of several small villages. Israeli military demolished 24 structures here (including several homes) in early February 2016. On 1 February 2016, Israeli forces entered the area, took photos of the structures, and notified the families of the demolitions. On 2 February 2016 in Khirbet Jenbah Israeli forces demolished fifteen structures, including three houses, that were home to sixty people, including 32 minors. The forces also confiscated three solar panels in Khirbet Jenbah which were donated to the communities by a humanitarian aid organisation. A Caabu delegation visited Jenbah with Israeli human rights organisation Breaking the Silence shortly after the demolition on 17 February 2016.  In Khirbet al-Halawah, also on 2 February 2016, Israeli forces demolished seven structures that were home to fifty people, including 32 minors. The forces also confiscated two solar panels in Khirbet al-Halawah which were similarly donated to the communities by a humanitarian aid organisation. In the other communities, an unspecified number of homes – mostly made from corrugated iron, and tents – were destroyed. Many of the structures were EU funded.  According to Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem, 40 structures in the South Hebron Hills are threatened. For some context, the structures are in an area referred to by Israel’s military as ‘Firing Zone 918’ – a military term to describe this portion of land in the South Hebron Hills. This would mean the expulsion of 1,500 Palestinian residents from their land. UK politicians, who have visited the South Hebron Hills on various Caabu delegations, condemned these demolitions, calling on the British Government to raise this in the strongest terms with Israeli authorities.

Rakhama. A village located in the Negev. In late January 2016, Israeli forces demolished a mosque in the unrecognised village of Rakhama for the second time that month. The mosque was built with corrugated metal. Israeli forces initially destroyed the mosque on Jan. 6, but residents rebuilt the structure, which was then torn down again. Following the first demolition, Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset Taleb Abu Arar said he attempted to prevent the demolition, but had been unable to convince the Israeli authorities. "(They) do not spare any effort in exerting pressure on the Arab population of the Negev in their attempt to empty the land of Arabs and to displace them,” The Palestinian MK slammed Israel for not providing "any services to Palestinians in unrecognized villages." Despite collecting taxes from Palestinians, he said that "Israeli authorities demolish their homes and close the doors of livelihoods in their faces."

Salfit. A district in the occupied West Bank. The family home of a Palestinian prisoner has been issued with a demolition order here. The home demolition notice was also delivered to neighbours who may be affected by the demolition. The home belongs to the family of Abd al-Aziz Hamad Marie. Hamad was recently detained by Israeli forces for alleged involvement in the planning of a stabbing attack 3 October 2015 during which Muhannad Halabi, 19, was shot dead after he killed two Israelis and injured two more in Jerusalem's Old City.

Silwan and Beit Safafa. Two neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. Three structures were demolished here on 7 January 2016 as they were built without construction permits. The family who lost their home stated that the Jerusalem municipality demolished the apartment without prior notice. Construction licenses are very expensive and difficult to obtain for Palestinians, notably in the Jerusalem area, in a bid by Israeli authorities to force Palestinians out and change the demographic balance of the city. Silwan in particular has seen in recent years an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of home demolitions and the eviction of Palestinian families. On 20 January 2016, Israeli demolished a home under construction in Silwan at 4 a.m. without having given prior notice.

Surda. A village located in north Ramallah in the central West Bank A home was demolished here on 9 January 2016 as a punitive punishment to the family of a Palestinian who was shot and killed after attacking four Israelis in Jerusalem in October 2015. An initial objection to the demolition was filed by the HaMoked Center for the Defence of the Individual, an Israeli human rights organisation, on 17 October 2015. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Israeli High Court of Justice froze the demolition order for al-Halabi’s home along with several others on 22 October 2015, but the court later rejected an appeal against the demolition. Israeli forces have long used house demolition as a punishment for Palestinian attacks or attempted attacks against Israelis, even if the alleged perpetrator had already been killed or detained. The practice had been decried by numerous rights groups as collective punishment mainly targeting the accused’s relatives. Israeli rights organization B’Tselem has slammed the house demolitions as a “punitive measure against the Palestinian population,” and argued that “the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven.”

Sur Bahar. A village in East Jerusalem. On 2 January 2016, large numbers of Israeli soldiers and police officers raided the village of Sur Bahar, surrounding a home in the Wadi Abu al-Hummus area of the village and closing off nearby roads before carrying out its demolition. Israeli forces also demolished a house belonging to Yahya Muhsin. On 9 February 2016, 4 homes were ‘closed and confiscated’ in the village. This appears to have been an act of collective punishment for four Palestinians aged 16-19 accused of throwing stones. Though the court has not yet passed its final judgement on the case.

Tammun. Located in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. Nine EU donated structures were demolished here in early February 2016.

Yitma. Located in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus. The village is located in Area C, which is under full Israeli control. In order for Palestinians to build in Area C, land owners must obtain building permits from Israeli authorities. UNOCHA found that between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of 2,020 building permit requests submitted were approved.