Statement by Land Research Center/ Arab Studies Society Palestinian Right to Land and Housing in 2016
A year of heavy burden on the shoulders of Palestinians just passed; a year where the Israeli occupation forces demolished our houses, ravaged our lands and violated the very basic rights of humanity.
2016 was the year where Palestinian Bedouins and farmers exhibited highest levels of resilience and steadfastness against all Israeli measures and practices.
Field researchers, reporters and related institutions worked hard to document and expose the vicious violations of the Israeli occupation that rendered the Palestinian people badly affected. The efforts of those warriors helped pushing the international community to reach the resolution no. 2334 to condemn the colonization in Palestine and consider it illegal by the UN.
It should be marked that the year 2016 was characterized by the emerge of Lands Settlement Law, which was the first step into legalizing lands takeover for colonial favor. Also, the so-called Absentees Law and Third Generation Law were most popular among Israeli measures and methods of properties and lands theft in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Palestine. In addition, a discriminative law to ban the Muslim "Call for prayer" was passed in the Israeli parliament along with calls from ministers to annex areas classified "C" according to Oslo Accords to the State of Israel. Last but not least, the city of Jerusalem ; more specifically Al-Aqsa mosque witnessed unprecedented escalation in attacks and new violations.
Rates of home demolition during 2016 mounted up to 208% compared to 2015. It is reported that 418 residences sheltering 1852 people including 848 children were demolished in 2016. On the other hand, the rate of structures demolition mounted up to 154% compared to 2015. Reportedly, 646 structures were demolished in 2016. With a total of 927 notices, the rate of demolition orders issuance mounted up to 115%.
Lands confiscated or subject for colonial expansion during 2016 totaled 13,295 dunums with a notable increase of 43% compared to 2015.
It is reported that 9700 trees, of which 6550 olive trees were either uprooted or cut down. Not only, 110 attacks and assaults against Palestinian farmers and Bedouins were reported.
Religious and archeological sites witnessed 195 attacks, of which 100 targeted Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
253 Palestinian were extra-judicially executed at checkpoints during 2016 where the total number of prisoners in Israeli prisons reached up to 7000.
The number of checkpoints increased to reach 802 ones set up all over the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The percentage increased 126% compared to 2015. Such measure was undertaken to serve the good of colonists and to secure their movement and travels.
A total of 90 colonies were reported to undergo expansion activities where 2500 residential units were annexed, 4600 others were ratified and 64 colonial plans were approved.
All Israeli attempts at creating a Judaization de facto on Palestinian lands have just failed. Yet, the Palestinian people are resilient and steadfast.
Our people know that the coming year will be darker and full of new violations. Because this occupation is becoming rabid in the light of being boycotted by the international community and humanitarian laws.
An occupation that defies common sense will never last
Land Research Center
Arab Studies Society
December 29, 2016