An Israeli Study Indicates the Presence of 3449 Files of “Illegal Construction” in Israeli Settlements and Outposts. Only 3% were Demolished in 10 Years

An Israeli Study Indicates the Presence of 3449 Files of “Illegal Construction” in Israeli Settlements and Outposts. Only 3% were Demolished in 10 Years

Location of Al Arrub College:

Palestine Technical College in Al Arrub is located on a hilltop overlooking Al Arrub refugee camp north east of the City of Hebron. It is also located to the west of the main road number 60 connecting between Bethlehem and Hebron around 35 kilometers south of the City of Jerusalem. The college is bordered from the west by the town of Beit Ummar, from the north by the lands of Gush Etzion, from the east by Al Arrub refugee camp and from the south by the lands of the town of Halhul. There are 500 students enrolled in the College studying in 6 technical, social, scientific, agricultural and administrative majors. Diplomas and BA certificates are awarded by the College.


The exceptional success of the College and the need of the local community for its services (as reflected in the increasing number of enrolled students) have forced the administration of the College to expand through the addition of new buildings in the yard of the College as illustrated below.



( Photo 1 & 2: the new college expansion facing the threat of demolition)

Photos courtesy of LRC



The Israeli Army Issues a �Stop Building� Order Against the College:

After the Administration of the College completed building the first phase of the Technological Education Building, it embarked on the second phase. However, on November 28th, 2007 Israeli occupation forces forced its way into the College and delivered the administration of the College an order issued by the so-called â��Civil Administration of Judea and Samariaâ�� instructing the administration to stop work on the building under the pretext of the â��lack of proper permits.â�� 


Eng. Basem Qumsiya, the Dean of the College, gave LRC the following testimony: ' On November 28th, 2007 an Israeli military force accompanied by a Zoning and Building Committee forced their way into the College. We were submitted an order to stop working in the second phase of the building (which consists of two stories and a theatre). The Order carries the number 14221 and it was issued by the Israeli Higher Zoning Committee due to �lack of permit.� We have finished the first phase of the building without any objection from the Israeli authorities which is ironic especially that Israeli forces are stationed right at the entrance of the College and are, thus, capable of observing everything that happens inside the College. This is an evidence that such a policy depends on the moodiness of the occupation authorities. We, at Al Arrub College, know that occupation forces are planning to build an Apartheid wall north of the College. Our building in NOT on the route of that Wall. The Order will prevent hundreds of students from enrolling in the College and will affect the educational journey negatively'.

(Photo 3: A copy of the halt construction order issued by the Israeli so-called civil administration)



Legal complaint

The administration of the College has filed a legal complaint through the Land Defense Committee to stop the Order. The first hearing was scheduled to be held on December 13th, 2007. However, it was delayed and rescheduled by the Israeli authorities for no apparent reason.


Two Checkpoints at the Entrance of the College:

It is worth noting that the students and faculty of the College are suffering on daily basis from Israeli closures and checkpoints especially those situated at the entrance of the College. Incidents of checks and long detention hours are commonplace which affected the educational atmosphere negatively.


For the Sake of Settlers on the Road:

In January 2004 Israeli occupation forces cut down trees along Jerusalem-Hebron Road (Road 60) that passes in the vicinity of the College and the town of Beit Ummar. More than 130 cedar trees as well as 20 apple trees were cutoff under the pretext of providing protection for settler cars passing by the College. Moreover, occupation forces submitted another military order to the municipality of Beit Ummar in February of the same year calling for cutting off of 8 historical olive trees located near the town�s cemetery on the same rioad for the same �settler protection� reason. Another order was later submitted to the College calling for cutting off of 50 additional trees on the same Road for the same reason. All of these trees were later cut off.



(photo 4,5 & 6: coniferous and olive trees that were cut  in 2004  on road 60
passing by Al Arrub college and Beit Ummer town )



As such, LRC looks upon these illegal steps with much concern as they can be considered as initial steps that might lead to the demolition of the building in the College. The Israeli step is considered to be extremely racist whereas Israeli occupation forces allow the establishment of a college (namely Ariel College) and the expansion of other colleges (namely the Hebrew University) in illegally occupied Palestinian lands, while these forces forbid the expansion of any Palestinian universities or colleges. In light of the afore-mentioned information, LRC demands the following:

  • The immediate intervention of the European Union with Israeli authorities (specifically the so-called â��Civil Administrationâ��) to demand the nullification of the military order as to prevent any harm to be done to this educational institute.

  • That human rights organizations (both local and international) to place pressure on the American Administration to stop such Israeli actions and policies.

  • Call upon the Palestinian Authority to support the administration of the College and the Land Defense Committee to follow the case legally and administratively on the hope that the order can be revoked.  



Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Reports