Israeli House demolition Campaign continue in the Jordan Valley Area

Israeli House demolition Campaign continue in the Jordan Valley Area

Since the beginning of this year (2008), the Israeli Army launched a campaign to demolish several structures in Fasayel north of Jericho Government in the Jordan Valley. The Israeli bulldozers, protected by the Israeli Army forces raided the village on January 3, 2008 and demolished 11 Barrackses, sheds and infrastructures belong to the local residents of the village, under the pretext of lacking the proper authorization. The demolished residential barrackses and sheds are owned by:

1.     Mr. Ibrahim Suleiman Abu Khirbeesh.

2.     Mr. Mahmud Ibrahim Abu Khirbeesh.

3.     Mr. Omar Ibrahim Abu Khirbeesh.

4.     Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Khirbeesh.

5.     Mr. Suleiman Muhammad Al Zayed.

6.     Mr. Hassan Muhammad Al Zayed.

7.     Mr. Hussein Muhammad Al Zayed.

8.     Mr. Mahmud Hassan Al Rashayda.

9.     Mr. Khaled Judei' Al Rashayda.

10.   Mr. Hassan Suleiman Al Rashayda.

11.   Mr.Deif Allah Judei' Al Rashayda.


Later on January 21, 2008, the Israeli authorities gave three new orders to demolish two other Palestinian houses and a school in Fasayel Village in the Jordan Valley under the pretext of being unlicensed due to their location in an area classified by the Israelis as 'closed Military Area'. See Photos of threatened properties




Moreover, and in the same scene, the Israeli bulldozers, and without a prior notification, razed 10 dunums lot of land cultivated with fruits and almonds and owned by the local resident Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Hanneyya, who indicated that the land in question has been property of his family for decades and that posses the original land title deed, which proves their ownership of the land.


Fasayel, a Palestinian village located in the central part of the Jordan Valley, and just north of Jericho city. It is populated by 900 Palestinians (PCBS 2006) and is set on a built-up area of 194 dunums.


More demolishing warnings

Approximately 22kilometers north of Fasayel, lay Khirbet Al Tawil, part of the Palestinian village Aqraba southeast of the city of Nablus. Residents there received 16 carious warnings from the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) notifying them to dismantle the structures targeted in the waning (military orders), otherwise the Israeli Army will carryout this task at well and let them carry the cost for it, in the form of a fine they have to pay or face jail sentence. The orders came under the pretext of not having proper authorization from the Israeli civil administration , which is the authority responsible for granting building permits for any structure or any other activity carried out in that area.


Mr. Jawdat 'Izzat the head of the local council of 'Aqraba village indicated that the threatened structures owned by the local residents of the village had existed for years now. One of the military orders requires the dismantling of the only source of electricity available there to feed the dwellings of the 500 residents inhabiting the targeted area. See Map 1

Table 1: Details of Israeli Demolition Warnings



Military Order No.


Description of the threatened Structure






Straw  shed



Water well + foundation of a house



Water well + cement shed



Water well + foundation of a house + wall



Cement house



Cement house



Two-storey cement building



Cement shed



Cement rooms (80 m2)



Cement house used as a mosque



Cement house + water well + cement wall



Cement house



Cement house ( 80 m2)



Cement house



Electricity network + power pole

Source: ARIJ Military Orders Database – 2008


The Dilemma of Building in Area C

When Israeli occupied the West bank and Gaza territory in 1967, it assumed control over all forms of the civil life for the Palestinian population there, including issuing building licenses. However, the restrictions imposed on construction varied from one area to another. In the Jordan Valley area, the restrictions imposed on construction were and still are more difficult -if possible- than anywhere else; the Israeli 'Civil Administration' the body responsible for land administration in the Jordan Valley area continue to refrain from issuing building license to Palestinians who live there. The Oslo Agreement of 1995 classified the West Bank territory into areas 'A', 'B', & 'C' where 'A' is the area that falls under the complete Palestinian control, area 'B' area falls partially under Palestinian Authority who have control over the civil administration and Israel continues to have overriding responsibility for security, where as in area 'C' the Palestinian authority has responsibility for civil life such as health and education while Israel retains full control over security and administration related to territory, including land.


This means that Palestinians living in areas within area 'C' are obligated to get the building license from the Israeli 'Civil Administration' but the permits are frequently rejected, thus the Palestinian residents at such area have no choice but to build without the authorization, which happen frequently by the Palestinian living at the Jordan Valley area who are compelled to take such action to deal with the population growth and the increasing need for education, health, and other necessities to their daily lives.


Legal & International Status

The Israeli methodic house destruction campaign carried out by the Israeli Army flagrantly violates the International humanitarian law, and the International law rules and conventions and United Nations resolutions.


According to the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited to demolish the Palestinian houses according to the Article 53 of the Convention which provides 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.


Under the same convention, particularly Article 147 provides that:  of the Convention provides that 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly' is a grave breach of the Convention.


Moreover, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) Article 5 provides that: 'States' Parties undertake to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all of its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: (e) in particular … (iii) the right to housing'.


In the year 2004 the United Nations Security Council called on Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes under Resolution No. 1544-(2004), the resolution states: 'The Security Council called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, particularly the obligation not to undertake home demolitions contrary to that law'.




Prepared by 
The Applied Reserach Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition