Threats of demolitions in Al Khader Village west of Bethlehem Governorate

Threats of demolitions in Al Khader Village west of Bethlehem Governorate

On November 21, 2007, the Israeli army circulated notifications to Palestinian residents of Um Rukbeh area southeast of Al Khader village ordering them to halt construction works to their structures which included seven houses and four water wells. Notifications were handed out to residents under the pretext of building without proper licensing documents. The threatened houses are located in Area 'C' as classified in the Oslo II Interim Agreement signed in September 1995 between the Palestinians and Israelis, where this area comes under the complete Israeli control. Residents who received military notifications are Mr. Na'em Mrzoq, Mr. Rizeq Abed El Kareem Salah, Mr. Barakat Taha, Ms. Maha No'man, Ms. Kalthoum Ahmad Yousef, Mr. Omar Saleh and Ms. Mryam Abed Drweesh. See table 1 & Map 1 for more details.   


Table 1: Details of Israeli military Notices to residents of Al Khader


Owner's Name

Military Order No.

Type of Structure

Area in m²


Mr. Na'em Mrzoq


Two-Storey house



Mr. Rizeq Abed El Kareem Salah


Infrastructure for the house /

Well  & a land

180/60 & 2000


Mr. Barakat Taha


Infrastructure for the House



Ms. Maha No'man


Two wells /Infrastructure for the House & a land

NA/ 250 & 300


Ms. Kalthoum Ahmad Yousef


Two- Storey house



Mr. Omar Saleh


Infrastructure for the House & a Well



Ms. Mryam Abed Drweesh


Infrastructure for the House


 Source: Al Khadr Village Council – Bethlehem (2007)




On the same day, the Israeli army bulldozers demolished water well owned by ‘Atta Yousif Mahmoud and notified Mr. Ibrahim Muhammad Sbeih, Mr. .Omar Mahmud Sbeih and Mr. Badr ‘Ali Saleh of their intention to demolish their agricultural wells located in the same area and under the same pretext.


The notifications stated a period of 24 days during which Palestinian owners are allowed to file their objections against the demolition of their structures, starting from the issuance date of these notifications.


Building without proper licensing documents has always been the Israeli pretext to demolish Palestinian houses; especially those situated in Area 'C' (Palestinian Areas under Israeli security and civil control) which require a license from the closest Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) office. The license procedure is another burden Palestinians have to carry. A long list of demands by the ICA office is the starting point of the License procedures. Until Palestinian owners are able to fulfill the demands of the ICA office, and documents are processed, years pass without an answer to applicants, which in turn forces Palestinians to build without licenses, as they know in advance that their applications are ignored rejected, or postponed for not being able to meet the Israeli requirements. The objective has been to  frustrate Palestinians' development plans, including those barely enough to meet the natural growth requirements. Naturally this translate to more potential lands set for confiscation by the Israelis to use for settlements’ expansion, building bypass roads or other various Israeli purposes.


The complicated, lengthy, and costly license procedures demanded of Palestinians applying for building permits often have to go through long line of procedures, and of which revised and decided by an Israeli Army’s military officer who usually rejects the application under the claim of “security reasons” forcing desperate Palestinians to take a risk and continue with their construction plans.


Previous acts of demolitions in Al Khader Village:

Demolition notices served by the Israeli Army to the Palestinians from Al Khader village has been a constant procedure over the past decade, but increased in numbers over the past few years. The Israeli Army bulldozers demolished several structures; others received demolishing notices, and all of which were carried out under the same pretext, building without license. The following table list some notifications served to Palestinian residents in Al-Khader during the previous years:


Date of Demolition / Threat



November 29, 2000

Demolition of the house of Al Masri Family

building without licensing

April 3, 2003

Demolition of a 150 m² house owned by resident Rezik Suleiman Salah

building without licensing

April 30, 2003

Demolition of two-storey house owned by Mahmmoud Salah

No Pretext

February 13, 2004

Demolition of three Palestinian houses owned by Ali Salem Mousa, Mahmud Mousa and Ahmad Mousa

building without licensing

April 25, 2004

Demolition of the house of Nasri Yousef ‘Ali Sbeih

building without licensing

May 12, 2004

Demolition of a commercial store owned by El Shuli family

building without licensing

December 10, 2004

Notification to demolish the plastic house of Muhammad Hussein Issa

Located opposite to Efrat settlement

March 30, 2005

Notification to seven residents from Al Khader village to demolish their residential houses

building without licensing

July 27, 2005

Demolition of  three houses owned by Raga Hasan Da'dou' (150m²), Hasan Jacob Da'dou' (150m²) and Ja'far Da'dou' (100m²);

building without licensing

July 27, 2005

Demolition to more than 20 houses in Al Khader village.

building without licensing

September 8, 2005

Demolition of two Palestinian farm structure

Located inside an Israeli controlled area

October 19, 2005

Demolition of 12 Palestinian Structures

building without licensing

June 7, 2006

Notifications to demolish 30 structures

building without licensing

June 8, 2006

Notifications to demolish three Palestinian Houses owned by Sameh, Saed and Samir Salah 

Making space for the construction of the Israeli Segregation Wall.






Al Khader village: Location & Population:

Al Khader is located some 4 kilometers west of Bethlehem city and 4 km east of the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line). Today, the village stands on an area of 20090 dunums of lands where the built-up area spreads over 601 dunums. The village is a home to 9285 inhabitants (PCBS 2006) and bordered by Bethlehem city from the east, Hussan and Battier villages from the west and northwest, Al Doha and Beit Jala cities from the north and northeast, and Al Duheisha refugee camp and Artas villages from the south.


Nowadays, the village faces the threat of the Israeli Segregation Wall which, upon completion, will cause the isolation of nearly 90 percent of the village's lands for that purpose. Click here for more details.



Since the beginning of the second Intifada, the Israeli Army has escalated it house-demolishing policy against the Palestinian people to control and restrict Palestinian development of the built-up areas. This especially accrues in communities locate in close proximity to the Segregation Wall. What is more is that the Israeli Army has been resorting to house demolishing as a part of its collective punishment policy adopted against Palestinians involved in the resistance, or uncooperative with the Israeli Army. Therefore, the Israeli house-demolition policy stands against the international humanitarian laws and conventions, which Israeli signed and ratified. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel as an occupying power is prohibited to demolish Palestinian houses as stated in Article 53 of the Convention which states that: 'Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.'


Also, Article 174 prohibits the 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.'


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Prepared by
The Applied Reserach Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Military Orders