New Israeli Military Order to Confiscate More Palestinian Lands in Beit Jala

New Israeli Military Order to Confiscate More Palestinian Lands in Beit Jala

On July 10, 2007, the Israeli Army distributed a new military order number (75/07/T) to the residents of Beit Jala (a satellite city of Bethlehem). The order states that 9.2 dunums of Palestinian lands located close to Cremisan Convent will be confiscated for the purpose of resuming wall constructions. Residents of Beit Jala were given a period of 7 days from the date of the order was issued to put forward their objections against the confiscation of their lands at the Israeli Reconciliation Court in Tel Aviv, even though such a court has no jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territory, which under full and complete control of the Israeli Army.


In an analysis conducted by the Geo-informatics department at the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), an additional 1.5 km wall section will be constructed on lands belonging to Beit Jala in the area adjacent to Cremisan Convent. This new section will wrap the road connecting the nuns and Cremisan Monasteries with Beit Jala and the center of life in Bethlehem. In addition to this, two Palestinian houses (owned by Yusra Al 'Arja and Fu'ad Nabeih Qesiya) within its path will be isolated from the city. Further analysis showed that the area slated for confiscation is actually two-and-a-half times larger than that mentioned in the order. It is in fact 23.3 dunums. The threatened lands are located within the Jerusalem Municipal boundaries which were extended in 1967 at the expense of 28 Palestinian towns and villages including the city of Beit Jala.  See map 1

Previously Issued Military Orders in Beit Jala

During the last couple of years, the Israeli army distributed to the residents of Beit Jala a number of military orders to construct the Segregation Wall in the vicinity of the tunnel area (part of bypass road #60). The first of these orders was issued on January 29, 2006 (06/01/T). This order stated the confiscation of 9 dunums of land located within the area of the tunnel road (bypass road # 60) and came to replace a section of the military order # (32/04/T) which was issued on April 19, 2004 and stated the seizure of 175.6 dunums of Beit Jala lands, and the military order number # (57/04/T) which was issued on May 19, 2004 and stated the confiscation of 11.8 dunums of lands for the construction of the Segregation Wall in that same area.


Works on constructing the Israeli Segregation Wall around the tunnel road began in January 2007. Today, huge cement partitions are installed on one side of the tunnel road and already isolate it from Beit Jala city. Once this part is completed, it will completely hinder the Palestinian access to that road at the same time, it will ensure the explicit Israeli use of it. A parallel Wall of cement partition will be installed opposite to the one existing now to close of the tunnel road completely where it will no longer be seen .  


In addition, the Israeli army distributed military order # 66/06) to confiscate some 90 dunums of land belonging to Beit Jala and the village Al Walajeh in order construct a road which will stretch from the northern part of Cremisan Monastery, alongside the eastern route of the Segregation Wall. This is planned to be constructed on lands belonging to Al Walajeh and will connect the Monastery with the bypass road #60 that connects the Har Gilo settlement and Gush Etzion settlements' bloc with Jerusalem.


It is worth mentioning that the issuing of the military order comes at the third anniversary of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling of July 9, 2004, which rules Israel is 'under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; … to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of the Advisory opinion'  and ' … to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.'


To Conclude

Despite the national and the international pressure on Israel to stop the construction of the Segregation Wall, Israel continues to construct the wall and has already constructed more than 60% of its length, penetrating deep inside the Palestinian agricultural lands which is a continuous violation to the ICJ advisory opinion and other International laws and UN resolutions especially UN resolution 242 which calls for 'the withdrawal of all Israeli armed forces from territories occupied' in the 1967 war.'


Related cases:-





Prepared by
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Military Orders