New Year’s Eve In Bethlehem … !

New Year’s Eve In Bethlehem … !


The continued Israeli pressure on Palestinian districts and the heightened activities in the West Bank reflect Israel's strategy of seizing and deteriorating the initiative in its conflict with the Palestinians instead of reacting to maintain peace. Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip are paying the price of the Israeli policy and exacerbating the hardship in living conditions as well as increasing feelings of hatred and revenge.

Since the Early morning of December 30th, 2002, Palestinian citizens of Battir and Husan villages suffered from the destruction of their homes and workshops by Israeli bulldozers. The Israeli troops imposed curfew on the two villages few hours before they started their vicious activity.

In Husan Village, the Israeli Bulldozers demolished 6 workshops and a quarry in the industrial area that lies to west of the village, and is also known by Al Mashahed Area. Those demolished workshops are shown in the Table 1 below: 



Number of People

Amjad Za'oul

Quarry owner

Supports 30 families

Ashraf Isma'il

Garage owner

Supports 6 people.

Muhammad Hamamra

Blacksmith owner

Supports 9 people

Imad Hamamra

Machinery owner

Supports 10 people

Naser Nasir

Machinery owner

Supports 7 people

Ahmad Ya'coub

Carpentry owner

Supports 6 persons

See Photo 1 & Photo 2 below… 


ARIJ fieldworkers went to the incident place and witnessed the destruction caused by the Israeli Bulldozers, See Map 1. It is worth mentioning here that those workshops were established ten years ago on 800 m² land area, and the owners of the workshops didn't receive any warning or notification orders of demolition before. The owners emphasize that the main reason behind this demolition activity is their location, which is 50 meters far from the bypass road located to the southeast of Husan village, which links Betar Illit settlement with Road 60 and the green line.


The Israeli soldiers gave the owners of the workshops two hours to evacuate the place before they started their demolition process. The estimated losses, according to the owners, are 100 thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the Israeli troops and bulldozers staged an incursion into Batir village and demolished 3 houses without pre-notification and under the pretext of not having building permits. See Map 2

Table 2 shows the demolished properties in Batir village. 


Demolished property


1.     Nimer Al Sholi

One story house of 3 bedrooms

130 M²


Domestic Well


2.     Khalil Al Qaysi


Two story house 



Domestic well

360 M²

3.     Muhammad Abu Tarboush

One story house

250 M²


Concrete wall

120 M length


Animal Farm

3 Dunums


After destroying the houses and the workshops, the Israeli troops pulled out. See Photo 1, Photo 2 and Photo 3.



In addition, the Israeli Forces confiscated more Palestinian lands to the south of Bethlehem District. This land was confiscated at favor of the Separation Wall and the construction of new bypass roads to link Jewish settlements to military camps. This land has an area of around 10 dunums and belongs to Hanna Hanna Handal (a Palestinian citizen living in Bethlehem).

Sharon's aggression against the Palestinian people is continuing at a high rate. The erection of the Separation Wall is only one of the Israeli plans, in addition to settlement activities that have not been stopped for a moment. Old settlements expand at a full speed, new ones spring up and all over the occupied Palestinian districts, the building of bypass roads goes on, expropriating more Palestinian lands and stifling the life of Palestinians all over.

Thus, While Palestinians live in overcrowded, and scattered areas, Israel goes on with its plan to reinforce the Jewish existence in the Palestinian territories and at the same time disconnecting Palestinian communities from each other and making the contiguity of any Palestinian State in the future practically unattainable. 

Sharon declared his complete disinclination to evacuate any Jewish settlement, the centerpiece of Israeli claims to the land. '' It's not by accident that the settlements are located where they are. They safeguard the cradle of the Jewish people's birth and also provide strategic depth which is vital to our existence'', says Sharon.   

"Happy New Year"

Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition