Israel’s systematic war against historical Palestinian buildings

Israel’s systematic war against historical Palestinian buildings


Nablus is a historical city dated back to the Canaanites. Historians consider it as one of the World's oldest cities as it existed for more than 6000 years. It was named Shechem by its first builders as such name was mentioned in Tel Al Amarnah letters in 1400 BC. The city was destroyed by the Romans in the year 67 BC. Nevertheless, Caesar, the Roman emperor issued his orders to rebuild the city which was later called NeaPolis (New City) which is the origin of the city's current name.

Nablus is known for its strategic location, rich history, huge mountains, old houses, snake-like allies, industry, mosques and universities.

Type and date of Violation:

On December 29th, 2003, The Israeli army issued a military order announcing its intent to destroy Abdel Hadi family's Palace

Palace's Historical Background:

The Palace was built 220 years ago during the Ottoman era. Dr. Saleh Rushdi Abdel Hadi, Dean of Al Rawda Polytechnic College in Nablus and owner of the Palace, indicated that Mahmoud Biek Abdel Hadi started building the Palace which was completed by Abdel Raheem Biek Abdel Hadi who later gave it to the Islamic Waqf (Charity) 20 years after its completion (Year 1257 according to Islamic calendar).

Palace's Detailed Description:

The Palace was built on 8,000 m2 area with an amphitheatrically shape. In the middle, a 3,000 m2 rectangular garden exist and decorated with Islamic ornaments where visitors of the palace can witness the rare Islamic ornaments and paintings. The number of rooms in the Palace is 144 with an area of 35 m2  each. See Photo of Palace

Usages of the Palace:

  • It was used by the Ottomans as a center for the Turkish Army stationed at the north of Palestine. It was also used as a place for poets and elites of Nablus and the surrounding villages and towns to meet.

  • The first and second floors were used in 1949 as a kindergarten. It was then rehabilitated and developed to be used as kindergarten and elementary school. In 1960, a secondary school was added to the same location.

  • In 1961, the secondary phase was moved to a different location and the kindergarten still exists in the location until today and is housing 120 school kids.

  • Currently, the Palace holds the Diwan of Abdel Hadi Family.

  • The third floor houses 9 families (50 individuals).

1.     Mr. Nizam Rashad Abel Hadi

2.     Mr. Hisham Tahseen Abdel Hadi

3.     Mr. Ayman Badee' Abdel Hadi

4.      Mr. Mo'een Badee' Abdel Hadi

5.     Mr. Ma'amoon Badee' Abdel Hadi

6.     Mr. Nader Rashad Abdel Hadi

7.     Mr. Mazen Shawqi Abdel Hadi

8.     Mr. Mohammad Shawqi Abedl Hadi

9.     Mr. Dorgham Shawqi Abdel Hadi.

The above-mentioned data is clear evidence that the Palace is still used by the families despite its old age and the fact that it was hit and slightly damaged during the 1927 earthquake.

The Violation:

On December 29th 2003, at 4:00 am, a group of Israeli forces surrounded the Palace and its vicinity. The inhabitants of the Palace were forced to evacuate the house under heavy gunfire. Doors were broken and furniture was damaged in front of their eyes.  The Palace was occupied by the Israeli army and students were prevented from reaching the kindergarten located inside it. Moreover, tens of surrounding houses belonging to Ghanem and Shi'ebi families were also occupied.

On January 1st 2004, a tank shell pierced into the house of Al Shi'ebi family, destroying private properties in the house, and damaging the eastern wall of the Palace. No reports of the damage are available due to the continuous curfew on the city of Nablus.

Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Military Orders