Four Houses Threatened with Demolition in An Nu’man Village in Bethlehem District

Four Houses Threatened with Demolition in An Nu’man Village in Bethlehem District



The District of Bethlehem is located in the southern part of the West Bank, south of Jerusalem. It has an area of approximately 600 square kilometers. In 1997 the total population was at 137,286 inhabitants.

The village of An Nu'man is located 6.5 kilometers Southeast of Jerusalem and covers an area of 5000 dunums of which 3000 dunums are used for agriculture. Its population is around 145 people. In the past it has suffered from land confiscation and house demolitions, the last of which was in 1986. Today the village is threatened by the expansion of the Har Homa settlement on Abu Ghneim mountain (see photo).



In 1990 Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Interior issued an order not to add any new constructions to existing houses in An Nu'man. The official reason was that the classification of the land upon which the houses were built was designated as 'green area'. This meant that the village lands was annexed to the Jerusalem Municipality.

In 2000, four houses got orders by Ministry of interior to halt construction and are thereby threatened with demolition (see map). The notification sent to the owners stated that their houses were not legal, so they didn't have permission to live there or add any new structures. The owners are: Sameeh Ahmad Dar'awi Abu Sitta, Khader Ahmad Dar'awi Abu Sitta, Nedal Ahmad Abu Sitta, Radi Abed.

Nedal Abu Sitta owns one of the threatened houses, built on an area of 140 m². Nedal is a teacher and has a family of three persons (see photo). Sameeh Abu Sitta owns the second house. The third house is for Radi Abed. The area of this house is 150 m² and his family is made up of 4 persons. The fourth one is for Khader Abu Sitta; he received five notifications to stop building but that did not stop him. His house is first on the list of houses to be demolished. The area of this house is 70m² (see photo). All these houses are located in area C that is under full Israeli control. Israel has so far denied granting any Palestinian building permits if their land is located within area C. Click for more.



Why did the Israeli authorities choose to demolish these specific houses? There are indications that Israel wants to expand the settlement of Har Homa. Furthermore, a by-pass road has been planned in this area. In fact, tenders have been submitted for the construction of Road no.398 that will pass the village. The road will have a buffer of 80 meters on each side and will take 1600 dunum of An Nu'man land. This road will connect Israeli settlements and no Palestinian activities are allowed to take place in the direct surrounding of the road and the settlements. This limits the possibilities of expansion and development of the existing Palestinian communities that this road encircles, and further disconnect Palestinian communities from each other. Furthermore, the construction of the road will destroy fertile cultivated lands that are in its way (see photo).




Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Military Orders