Land Research Center - LRC

Demolition of Four Homes and a Mobile Caravan in Al- Walaja , Bethlehem

2018-09-03

Violation: Destruction of structures under the allegation of building without permits.

Location: Khallet-As- Samak  and Ein – Jweiza  in Al- Walaja/ Bethlehem.

Date: 03 / 09/ 2018.

Violator : The Israeli occupation’s municipality in Jerusalem.

 Victims : Four Palestinian families from Al-Walaja village

Details  

In the early hours of September 03,2018, Israeli military forces burst into Al-Walaja village and embarked on knocking down four homes and a mobile caravan under the pretext of unlicensed construction within the boundaries of Jerusalem governorate. Getting permissions to build  is nearly impossible, especially that the occupation's municipality refuses to grant Palestinians building permits for houses  as part of its policies to relocate people of Jerusalem and surrounding villages,  like Al-Walaja, out of Jerusalem. This is not to mention the restrictions the municipality imposes on Palestinian inhabitants to force them out, so there is a space to build more settlements.

Citizen Adel Atrash a former member of Al-Walaja village said to the researcher of LRC:

Occupation forces broke into Al-Walaja village at dawn to avoid confronting citizens and demolished Khaled Abu-Khiara home at 4 am. By the time Al-Walaja inhabitants reached the location, the house and everything inside it had already been destroyed while people of the village were asleep. Khaled's family did not even get the chance to take out their furniture.

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Abu- Khiara's home was completely destroyed by the occupation

 Adel Al-Atrash added: families of Al-Walaja woke up after the occupation completely destroyed the Abu-Khiara home., People of the village  rushed to confront the occupation forces and protect the other homes that are under demolition threats.  The occupation forces also caused partial destruction to three homes after brutal clashes with people of Al-Walaja refusing policies of the occupation and expressing their anger against the unjustified demolition.

Then the occupation's bulldozer and machines moved to citizen's, Alaa Hajajleh's, house that consists of two floors ( the first has been completed this year while the second one consists of columns and is still under construction). The occupation forces claim Hajajleh's house was within the borders of the occupation's municipality, while his neighbour's place that is behind the next fence is in the borders of the communal council of Al-Walaja village. Hajajleh's houseis inhabited by the owner and his family and received a demolition warning in February, 2018. Indeed, the owner prepared his legal documents and gave them to the Israeli court and his case was presented to the Supreme Court. However, the occupation did not give any consideration for the documents and their goal was only to destroy the building . The occupation forces were not able to fully destroy the house as Al-Walaja village people reached the location and confronted the occupation forces and ultimately obstructed the demolition process.

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Al- Hajajla's home during its construction and before the demolition

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Al- Hajajla's home after the occupation demolished parts of it.

Here are the names of the owners of the demolished homes and other information:

Name of the citizen

Number of family members

Number of children

Total surface of the building

Sort of the building

Ahmad Ali Abu Al- Tein

5

3

100

Under construction

Alaa Hajajla

5

3

150

inhabited

Hanan Al-Razim

6

2

120

inhabited

Khaled Mohammad Abu-Khiara

5

3

200

inhabited

Al-Shqirat family

N.A

N.A

20

Mobile caravan

total

21

11

590

.

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Hanan al-Razm home before and after the demolition

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Ahmad Abu Al- Teen House before and after the demolition - Khallet-As-Samak

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Karavane for Al Shqirat family the occupation's bulldoazers destroyed it - Khallet-As-Samak

It is important to point out that Al-Walaja village is under a brutal attack from the occupation's authorities under the attempt of dislocating people of the village to control land, history and antiquities. Starting from the beginning of 2016, 15 buildings have been demolished ,13 of them were inhabited and that caused the dislodgment of 73 members. Furthermore, the occupation forces are threatening 19 house and structures used by approximately 173 members, 83 of them are children . Besides that, 623 donums were confiscated, 612 of them are to be used to build the colonial settlement of Jilo.

 Information about Al-Walaja village[1]:

Al-Walaja village lies about 5 km north west Bethlahem city. Bordered on its west Al-Battir village, northed by Sharafat and southed by Beit Jala. With a population of 2671 people in 2017. It has an area of 4327 donum , 446 donum of them are available for construction. Al-Walaja features mountainous lands, and there is its highest mountain named Maskari which overlooks Jerusalem and its outskirts, there were caverns that keep fruits after the picking to preserve it and its capacity was great , many sorts of vegetables were grown in the mountains . Agricultural was the main source for Palestinian income. Al-Walaja also consists of a valley that divides it to two parts. There are four main extended families in the village: (Al- Wahadna which go back to Kherbet- Al Wahadna village in Ajloun mountain / jordan) , Al-A'araj, Abdarba and Hajajla.

 Israeli colonies robbed 155 donum from the village's lands, 2 colonies lie over parts of the village's lands. The first one is (Hargelo) which was constructed in 1972 over 104 donum stolen from the village's land , populated by 365 settler. The second one is (jilo) constructed 1981 , part of it is built on the lands of Al-Walaja village and robbed 51 donum inhabited by 27569 settler. Father more, by pass- roads robbed number 436 over 246 donum. And building the discrimination wall on its lands which destroyed 96 donum and it will isolate 4171 donum behind it. It is 6942 mitre long.

 According to Oslo convention the village is divided to 3 areas (A, B,C) 3% of the village's lands are sorted as B while the greatest part of the village is sorted as C of a percentage of 97%. B areas 115 donum. C areas 4056 donum. Legal feed back : The doings of the occupation's authorities of demolishing Palestinian homes and buildings is a serious violation of international and humanitarian law. And violate the rights of Palestinian citizens as ensured by international law and international conventions which is the right of an appropriate residence . According to the following articles:

Article 147 of Geneva fourth convention  : extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. ( it is considered a serious violation of the convention)

Article 53 of Geneva fourth convention that forbids destroying properties : Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or co-operative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

Article 33 of Geneva fourth convention: No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed.

Article 32 of Hague convention 1907 part g: To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.

Article 17 of Universal declaration of human rights 10 –Dec- 1948:  No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

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  • [1] Geographical data unit- LRC

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