|Six demolitions in Area C
During the reporting period, Israeli authorities demolished six Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing seven Palestinians, including five children. This brings the number of structures demolished and the number of people displaced during January 2015 to 86 and 117 respectively. Additionally, at least eight stop-work orders, two demolition orders and eight eviction orders were delivered.
On 29 January, in Idhna (Hebron), Israeli authorities demolished a house under construction, a donor-funded caravan and a livelihood structure. The house and caravan, which was provided in response to a previous house demolition that took place in November 2011, belong to the same family. As a result, a family of seven, including five children, were displaced and 55 others were affected.
Two additional donor-funded livelihood structures - a water cistern, and a fence - were demolished on 2 February, in Qusra village (Nablus), affecting ten families, of 61 people.
Also during the week, a privately-owned agricultural vehicle was confiscated in Beit Ummar (Hebron), allegedly on grounds that the vehicle was being used to transport construction materials to a house in Area C, in the same area, for which an Israeli-issued building permit was not issued.
In addition, Israeli authorities leveled one dunum of land, cutting down 30 olive trees in the process, in Azzun Atma and Beit Amin villages (Qalqiliya). According to the village councils, they were informed by the Israeli authorities that the works are for the establishment of water infrastructure for the settlement of Sha’are Tiqwa.
Property seizures and temporary evictions of communities in “firing zones”
During the week, in the Jordan Valley and Hebron at least 162 Palestinians were temporarily displaced, vast areas of land levelled and tools used for the implementation of a vital developmental project were confiscated in areas designated by Israel as “closed military zones” also referred to as “firing zones”, for training purposes.
In the community of Khirbet Yarza (Tubas) (accounted for in the number of structures demolished), in the Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities damaged and confiscated 300 meters of metal water pipelines on 29 January. The pipeline was provided by the Palestinian Authority as part of a donor-funded project to connect the community with the public water network in Tubas city. The demolition affected the entire community, comprising 86 people who have been depending on alternative, unreliable and/or costly sources of water. Of note, since the beginning of 2014, Israeli authorities have demolished a total of 24 structures in this community. Near Tammun (Tubas), on 28 January, Israeli authorities confiscated a water tank and agricultural vehicle. The vehicles, property of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, were being used for purposes of implementing a tree planting project. This is the second confiscation related to the same project; on 18 December 2014, Israeli forces requisitioned one tent, 20 water tanks and 50 seedlings.
In the community of ‘Ibziq (Tubas), 17 families (135 Palestinians) were temporarily displaced between 08:00 and 13:00 every day from 26 through 29 January and on 2 February. The orders extend to 4 February. ‘Ibziq, which is located in an Israeli-declared closed military zone for training(“firing zone”), is home to 30 families (176 Palestinians) and has been subjected to at least 20 temporary displacements as a result of military training in the area since the beginning of 2014.
In Humsa al Bqai’a herding community (Tubas), four families (27 Palestinians) were temporarily displaced between 06:00 and 14:00 in order to make way for Israeli military training.
In the area of Masafer Yatta (Hebron), Israeli forces leveled around 800 dunums of land for unknown reasons. The land was cultivated with wheat and barley for grazing, in an area located between the communities of Jinba Mirkez, Halaweh, Khirbet al Fakheit and Khirbet al Majaz. These are among 14 Palestinian communities in the Masafer Yatta area designated by the Israeli authorities since the 1980’s, as a closed military zone for training, also referred to as the “918 firing zone”. At least 1,300 people currently living in this area are at continuous risk of forcible transfer.
Approximately 18 per cent of the West Bank has been designated as a closed military zone for training, where around 5,000 Palestinians reside in 38 communities. According to an Israeli media report, in early 2014, a senior officer from the IDF Central Command confirmed that the frequency and scope of military trainings has increased dramatically in recent times, particularly in the Jordan Valley, and that such exercises contribute to the prevention of “illegal building.”