Demolitions and displacement in the West Bank: an overview | January 2022 – Occupied Palestinian Territory
• There was a 27% decrease in structure targeting in January, compared to the monthly average for 2021.
• 19 donor-funded structures were demolished or confiscated in January, compared to a monthly average of 18 donor-funded structures in 2021.
• Four other EU-funded structures, including a school, were threatened with demolition.
• An extended Palestinian family of 12, including two children, was forcibly evicted from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and their house was demolished by the Israeli authorities.
In January, Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish or seized 59 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
This resulted in the displacement of 106 people, including 47 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods or access to services of more than 170 other people. All of the structures were located in Area C or East Jerusalem and were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. The total number of demolitions/foreclosures for January represents a 28% decrease compared to the monthly average for 2021.
Seventeen structures financed by the EU or its member states were demolished or seized in January, all located in municipalities in zone C, for a total value of more than 33,200 euros. Four other structures funded by the EU or its Member States, worth more than 50,200 euros, have been threatened with demolition, including a school in Ein Samiya and three residential structures in Deir Nidham (both in Ramallah)
Eleven of the 19 donor-funded structures targeted in January were in herding communities located in areas designated by Israeli authorities as a “firing zone” for military training. Nearly 30% of Area C is designated as “firing zones” and the 38 Palestinian communities in these areas are among the most vulnerable in the West Bank, with limited access to education and health services, and infrastructure. water, sanitation and electricity.
In the community of Khirbet al Fakheit in Massafer Yatta (Hebron), the Israeli authorities demolished eight structures, five of which, including three residential shelters, had been provided as humanitarian aid by the EU or its Member States in response to previous demolitions. As a result, 19 people, including eleven children, were displaced. In the herding community of Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities demolished twelve structures, six of which, including three residential and three animal shelters, had been provided as humanitarian aid by the EU or its Member States in response to previous demolitions. Three households, comprising 16 people including five children, have been displaced for the second time in a week.
On January 5, in two separate incidents, Israeli authorities seized an agricultural structure in the Bedouin community of Az Za’ayyem and an animal shelter in the herding community of Az Za’ayyem Az Zaatreh. These communities are located in an area slated for a major expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement (the ‘E1’ plan) and are at risk of being forcibly relocated due to a ‘relocation’ plan put forward by the Israeli authorities. . According to the families involved, the Israeli authorities provided no written or verbal notice of their intention to seize or demolish the structures. Both structures had been provided as part of humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions.
Four of the 40 structures targeted in January were seized without prior warning in zone C, a procedure preventing the persons concerned from opposing it in advance. This represents a significant decrease in the use of this procedure from the 53% recorded for the whole of 2021.
Also in Area C, in four separate incidents in Tatrit (Hebron), Qalqiliya town, Al ‘Aqaba (Tubas) and Haris (Salfit) communities, Israeli authorities demolished five structures, displacing a household of seven people, including five children. and affecting 22 other people. These demolitions took place on the basis of Military Order 1797, which provides only 96 hours notice and very limited grounds to legally challenge a demolition. Since it came into effect in July 2019, 174 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished based on the order.
Fifteen structures, including eight houses, were demolished in East Jerusalem: eight were demolished by the Jerusalem municipality and seven by the owners themselves, following the issuance of demolition orders. In one of the incidents, on January 25, the Jerusalem Municipality and Israeli forces demolished a house in At Tur, displacing two households comprising nine people, including five children, and affecting another household of five people. Households had paid fines as punishment for the lack of building permits issued by Israel.
In addition, in East Jerusalem, in the early hours of January 19, Israeli forces forcibly evicted an extended family, consisting of 12 people, including two children, from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and demolished the house.
The operation began on January 17, when Israeli forces demolished three commercial structures belonging to the family, affecting the livelihoods of 23 people. According to the Jerusalem Municipality, the land has been allocated for the construction of a school for disabled children. Around 20 people were arrested during the operation, including family members and activists. Concerns have been raised by member states in the UN Security Council over the physical measures used by Israeli forces during the operation.