In area C, a building permit from the Israeli Civil Administration is required for all types of construction including rudimentary dwellings, pit-latrines and even fences. According to OCHA, Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in 70% of area C, while in the remaining 30% there is a range of restrictions and administrative requisites that greatly reduce the possibility of obtaining a permit.
- PERMIT REGIME AND ADMINISTRATIVE DEMOLITIONS
Given the difficulties in obtaining construction permits, many Palestinians living in area C take the risk to build without a permit, therefore facing the threat of administrative demolition by the Israeli Authorities. In 2010, by November, a total of 1090 individuals have been affected by demolitions in area C and 355 have been displaced. There are currently several thousand pending demolition orders throughout the West Bank, the implementation of which could vastly increase the humanitarian caseload.
International Law: The destruction of real or personal property by an occupying power is prohibited by the 1949 Geneva Convention IV relative to Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (GCIV), except and only where rendered ‘absolutely necessary by military operations’ (Art. 53). Any building permit regime would need to satisfy this requirement, whilst further being consistent with the occupying power’s obligation to administer the territory in the interests of the occupied population. The current permit regime governing construction in the occupied West Bank, especially in Area C, falls short of meeting these standards.