On Thursday, 31 August 2017, at 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with 25 Border Police officers to the Palestinian community of Tublas, which lies in Area C, along the main road that connects Hizma to ‘Anata north of Jerusalem. The community numbers some 60 people, about half of them minors. The forces demolished and confiscated a 48-square-meter pre-fab donated by a humanitarian organization that home to a family of five, including three minors.
Yesterday, 22 August 2017, Israeli authorities demolished the school at the community of Jub a-Dib, southeast of Bethlehem, leaving 80 pupils without an educational facility. In previous years, the children of Jub a-Dib had to walk to schools outside the village. The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomizes the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land. In recent weeks, another two educational facilities in Area C were also demolished.
On Wednesday, 9 August 2017, at about 1:00 P.M., dozens of Civil Administration officials and Border Police arrived at Abu a-Nuwar, a Palestinian community which Israel refuses to hook up to the power grid. They confiscated solar panels and related equipment, all of which were donated to the community by a humanitarian aid organization about a month ago. Abu a-Nuwar lies between the settlements of Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim, in an area that Israeli authorities have defined E1. Some 650 people live in the community, about half of them minors.
The main route to Abu a-Nuwar was blocked off and the troops prevented anyone from entering or leaving. The area of the school, which was empty due to the summer break, was declared a closed military zone. The CA confiscated two solar-panels stands and ten solar panels that had been installed in the school yard. They also broke down a door to a room in the school, went in and seized two circuit-breaker panels and 12 batteries that were in the room. The confiscated solar panels supplied power to the community’s school and preschools, which are attended by a total of about 72 children, as well as to the community’s guesthouse. The equipment was seized despite an interim injunction issued that day prohibiting enforcement (in the form of demolition or confiscating solar panels) until 16 August 2017.
This afternoon Israel’s Civil Administrating confiscated a tanker which supplies water to the communities of Msafar Yatta (Greater Yatta; Firing Zone 918) in the southern Hebron Hills, citing “entering a firing zone”. The truck, owned by a resident of Yatta, was carrying 20,000 liters of water and is the only one of its size serving the communities in the area. The truck managed to supply water only to the community of Khirbet al-Fakhit, one of twelve communities in the area which Israel has been endeavoring to displace and also refuses to hook up to the water grid. Soldiers then confiscated the truck. Israeli security forces kept the B’Tselem field researcher who was on site from filming the confiscation.
On Jul. 19, military and Civil Administration forces confiscated two water tanks in Kh. Tall al-Himma in the northern Jordan Valley, along with a pump from a spring used as the community’s main source of water. Solar panels were confiscated there on Jul. 5. The forces then cut a pipe used to bring water from a natural spring to a reservoir in the community of Kh. Um al-Jmal, used for livestock and irrigation. The cruel treatment of these communities, which Israel refuses to connect to the water system, is particularly brazen in the current scorching heat of the Jordan Valley.
The Palestinian village of Jub a-Dib near Bethlehem has existed since 1929, yet Israel refuses to hook it up to the power grid. In late 2016, thanks to international aid, 96 solar panels were installed providing the 160 residents with regular electricity for the first time. Israel confiscated the panels on 28 June 2017. This is another example of Israel’s systematic abuse of Area C Palestinians, denying them basic services and confiscating or destroying alternatives provided by aid organizations.
Today, Wednesday 5 July 2017, Civil Administration officials and the military came to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Tall al-Himma (Khallet Hamad) in the northern Jordan Valley, south of the community of ‘Ein al-Beida. They confiscated two solar panels used by five families, numbering 25 people, including 15 minors. The panels had been donated by a humanitarian aid organization in March 2017, after Israeli authorities confiscated the pre-fab one of the families had been living in.
Israeli forces raid two Palestinian Jordan Valley communities in past two months, uprooting and confiscating trees and ruining fields on Palestinian-owned land. Over 75% of Jordan Valley lands have been taken over by Israel, with 150,000 hectares transferred to settlement regional councils. In recent years, Israel has increased efforts to expel local Palestinian communities. Palestinians now own a minute portion of Jordan Valley lands, yet Israel harasses them even there.
On 19 April 2017, Civil Administration personnel arrived at the Jabal al-Baba community which is located near al-‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. They demolished a 45-square-meter pre-fab which had been donated by an aid agency and served as home to a family of seven, including two minors. The family’s previous home was demolished by the authorities on 26 January 2017. The Jabal al-Baba community has a population of approximately 350, about half of them minors. They live in an area designated by the Israeli authorities as Area E1. Israel has slated that area for an expansion of the settlement of Maale Adumim designed to achieve a contiguous urban bloc from the settlement to Jerusalem. The most recent demolition carried out in the community this year was on 26 January 2017. At that time, authorities demolished three families’ residential tents as well as two livestock pens.
On the morning of Mon. 3 April 2017, the Civil Administration (CA) arrived at Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley and served nine families with evacuation orders from Wed. 5 April 2017 at 5:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. next morning. As a result, 40 people, incl. some 15 minors, will have to spend an entire night away from home. Last week, the CA served ten families with evacuation orders for Wed. afternoon to Thurs. morning. Yet no military training was then carried out on land near their homes and, contrary to past practice, the CA did not arrive to evacuate them. Residents remained in a state of uncertainty all night long, concerned they might be evacuated. Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar is a small shepherding community located east of the village of Tammun; the settlements of Ro’i and Beka’ot were built nearby it. In 2016, families from this community were temporarily displaced on ten different occasions by the CA and the military, citing essential military training train on their land. Israel must immediately cease the temporary displacement of communities as well as all other measures it takes in a bid to force Palestinians living in the Jordan Velley out of the area.
B'Tselem has championed human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for over two decades, promoting a future where all Israelis and Palestinians will live in freedom and dignity.