The Confiscation of the Properties of Two Charitable Societies in Hebron

The Confiscation of the Properties of Two Charitable Societies in Hebron

On the night of February 26th, 2008 Israeli occupation forces forced its way into the headquarter and centers associated with the Islamic Charitable Society (including buildings, bakeries, schools and kindergartens) as well as buildings associated with the Muslim Youth Association. Occupation forces submitted closure and property confiscation orders to the administrations of these two organizations. The orders called for the confiscation of all the properties associated with the organizations and placing it under the full control of the occupations’ army. The orders threatened that in the case that the targeted properties were not vacated by April 1st, 2008 serious punishments and actions will be taken against those who do not abide by the orders of the military commander. The raids carried out by the occupation forces resulted also in the confiscation and destruction of equipment owned by the two organizations.


The Two Organizations in Details:


(A) The Islamic Charitable Society:

The Islamic Charitable Society – Hebron was established in 1962 to provide full caring services for the orphans. The Society was issued a Jordanian permit followed by an Israeli permit (during the Israeli occupation era) and a similar permit issued by the Palestinian Authority. Currently, the Society is officially recognized and is registered in the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs as well as in the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. At the inception of the Society, it was offering services to 15 orphans only. Currently, it is providing similar services to 3,500 orphans, 1500 students (orphans and non-orphans) via its 469 employees.


The following paragraphs list the properties run by the Society that are targeted with the Israeli closure and confiscation orders:


1- Schools:

The following table lists all of the schools run by the Society:





No. of Students


Area in dunums

No. of Floors

Area of each floor in m2

Orphan House for Boys








Orphan House for Girls








Al Shar’iya School for Boys








Al Shar’iya School for Girls








Al Rahma Basic School for Boys

Al Salam St.







Al Huda School for Girls (under construction)

 Harayeq (suggested)









Moreover, the Society has a number of schools scattered throughout the villages of Hebron Governorate including:




No. of Students



Al Shuyoukh



5 yr. olds

Al Dahmi Sch.

Al Shuyoukh




Abdullah Ibn Masoud

Bani Na’eim




Al Ribat

Bani Na’eim




Al Aqsa

Beit Ula




Al Aqsa

Beit Ula




Al Aqsa Kindergarten

Beit Ula



5yr. olds



2- The Warehouse:

The warehouse is located in Al Harayeq region of Hebron. It contains refrigerators in which meats are kept to be used as food for the orphans. The warehouse is used frequently to store the essential quantities of food stuff, stationary as well as clothes for the orphans living in the Orphan Houses associated with the Society. The total area of the warehouse is around 1150 m2.


3- Al Rahma Bakery – Main Branch

The main branch of Al Rahma Bakery is also located in Al Harayeq region of Hebron. It is the primary source of the daily bread provided for the Orphan Houses.


4- Al Qasimi Building:

The building is located in Jabal Nimra region of the city of Hebron. It is a residential building (area = 2 dunums) rented out to families and investors. The 7-story building consists of:

  • Apartments: 31 residential apartments in which 31 families (n=145 individuals) are currently living. The area of each apartment is 125 m2.

  • Shops: a supermarket, a travel agency, Al Rahma Bakery – Second Branch and a number of shops used for storage purposes.

  • Car garages.


Photo 1: Al Qasimi Building – Nimra



5- Al Huda Commercial Suq:

Al Huda Suq is located on Ein Khair Al Dien Street near the Directorate of Education in the City of Hebron. It has four floors the area of each is 700 m2. The description of each floor is as follows:

  • First floor: The floor has a number of commercial shops including a jewelry shop, Noor Al Huda Shop for Islamic Outfits, Pretty Woman Shop (the decoration of the shop cost about NIS 2 million) in addition to Dar Al Quran and Al Hadith Al Shareefayn.

  • Second and third floors: These two floors consist of administrative offices for organizations (including the Union of Engineering Supporting Professions and doctors (including the clinics of Dr. Rima Al Qawasmeh, Dr. Waddah Husni Al Ashhab as well as Al Huda Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Center).

  • Fourth floor: A children library is located in this floor. 


(B) Muslim Youth Association:

The Association is located in Ein Sara Street in Hebron City. It was established in 1989 via a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration. After the formation of the Palestinian Authority, the Association was granted operational licenses from both the ministries of Interior and Social Affairs. The Association is a scientific, sportive, social, cultural and a scout forum in which its 1,000 members participate in the different activities it offers. It is considered one of the most effective organizations in the city of Hebron that provides services to all of the different sectors in the city.



Photo 2 & Photo 3: The headquarter of the Muslim Youth Association



Properties Confiscated during the Raid:


(A) The Islamic Charitable Society:

1.     The Warehouse: The warehouse was raided twice; once on February 26th, 2008 during which Israeli occupation forces confiscated most of the foods and stationary items reserved for the orphans. The second raid was carried out at 10:00 PM on March 6th, 2008 during which occupation forces confiscated the remaining materials.

2.     Al Rahma Bakery – Main Branch: The bakery is located in Al Harayeq region of the city of Hebron. It was raided twice also as the first raid was carried out on February 26th, 2008 during which Israeli soldiers taped unto it doors a military order to close it down for a period of three years. It was raided again on the 6th of March, 2008 during which all of the bread-making machines were removed using 15 trucks.

3.     Al Huda Girls School: The school is also located in Al Harayeq region and is still under construction. The school was planned to provide education to 1500 female students, yet the Israeli forces closed it down by red wax.


Photo 4:  The gate of Al Huda School with the red wax on it



Photo 5 & Photo 6:  Al Huda Girls School shut down by the Israeli occupation forces.


B) The Muslim Youth Association:

The administration of the Association was surprised when the Israeli forces raided its headquarter on February 26th and placed a military order calling for the closure of the Association for a period of three years starting on April 1st, 2008. Moreover, during the raid Israeli forces confiscated the following items:


2 Mercedes™ busses capable of carrying 19 and 21 passengers respectively.

A Volkswagen™ car

5 computers

1 fax machine

5 copying machines

5 laser printers

2 color printers

2 scanners

1 fridge

15 office desks.

18 office chairs and 23 regular chairs. 

7 computer desks and tables

15 iron and wood cabins

2 heaters

11 phones

1 Hub and Router

1 LCD projector

1 Jawwal chip

A number of educational CDs.

A large number of files, official papers and financial receipts.

Papers of official correspondence.

An air conditioner



Properties Targeted and the Humanitarian Impact of the Closure Orders:


1) Al Qasimi Building:

Mr. Zakariya Al Tamimi lives with his family in the Building. He expressed o the LRC’s researcher the following: I have been living in this building for a few years now along with my 7-member family. In case the closure order was carried out, I will place a tent in the street to live in it with my family.


Mr. Khaled Areef Al Atrash is the owner of Al Youbeel Supermarket (two shops) as well as the travel agency. He indicated the following: In case this unjust order was carried out, I will be obliged to send the goods I have in the supermarket back to their manufacturers or to destroy it upon the expiration of its validity date. There are four people working in the supermarket and two in the travel agency. They will become unemployed and I will stand to lose tens of thousands of Israeli shekels.


Photo 7: Al Youbeel Supermarket


One of the workers at Al Rahma Bakery told the researcher the following: The bakery provides the daily bread for the orphans. In addition, fifteen workers work in it providing income for tens of individuals. In case of the shut down the losses will be tremendous. We will be forced into the streets and join the long lines of the unemployed. We urge you to help to stop the implementation of these orders.


Photo 8: Al Rahma Bakery


Photo 9: The Israeli closure orders taped to the doors of the bakery

2) Al Huda Commercial Suq:

During their raid of the Suq, Israeli soldiers damaged all of the doors located in the first floor of the Suq in which Dar Al Quran and Al Hadith Al Shareifayn are located. All of the contents of the Public Relation Section of Al Dar were confiscated. Moreover, the escalator was also damaged and one of its doors was removed.


Palestinians who will be directly impacted by the closure of the Suq have expressed their concerns to the researcher of the Center including the owner of a jewelry and accessories shop who indicated the following: I don’t know what to do if the orders were carried out. My shop is the main source of income for me and my family. We are only renting the shops. We didn’t commit any crime. We demand the nullification of these orders.


Photo 10: The jewelry and accessories shop


As for Dr. Rima Al Qawasmeh who operates a dentist clinic in the Suq, she expressed the following: 'The Israeli occupation does not need any excuse to shut down any place. Any Israeli, weather big or small, does whatever he/she wants with us and no one in the world would care. This clinic is the only source of income for me and my family. Upon its closure I will lose my customers and I will sustain heavy loses in the equipment used in the clinic. I demand to stay here. '


Dr. Mohammad Amro, the director of Al Huda Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Center said:  'For the past 12 years the Center has been providing humanitarian services for the disabled and those with special needs. There are 8 people working in the Center and we are expecting a disaster to befall on the Center when the closure decision is executed on April 1st; workers will lose their livelihood and our clients wouldn’t know where or who to turn to upon the closure. If they decided to seek similar services in other centers, I expect that the new centers would not know at what stage the clients are or any background information about their medical history. Ultimately, this would affect the clients’ health negatively. However, we will face off to the closure orders even if we were obliged to set up a tent in the street across from the Center to receive our clients and provide them with the humanitarian assistance they need and deserve. '


Photo 11: The Closure Orders taped on the doors of the Center.


Dr. Amro has also called upon the Governor of Hebron and the Palestinian Authority to stand by him and other tenants as they are renting property and have no stake in any political activity.


One of the employees of Al Anwar Al Ibrahimya Library has also conferred with the researcher and expressed the following: 'The library provides books and stories for the orphans and the general public. It contains 13500 books and short stories and is considered the only library in Hebron that provides books and literature specifically for the children segment of our society. There are 8 workers in the library who stand to lose their only source of income if this unjust order is carried out. Moreover, hundreds of school students will lose a reliable source of information for their school research projects. The library also carries out a number of training courses and programs especially during the summer season. '


Photo 12: Al Anwar Al Ibrahimiya Library 


It is worth noting here that the main doors of the library, as well as the doors of the computer room and the children theatre, were destroyed during the Israeli raid on the Suq.





The Closure and Confiscation Orders Violate Palestinian Rights:


(2) Legal Violation:

  • The closure of old organizations that are legally permitted to operate throughout long time eras (including that of full Israeli occupation) is considered to be in direct contradiction with the intentions and privileges provided by the permitting authorities including the Israeli occupation authorities as well as the Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.

  • The two targeted organizations are both located in areas that are classified as Area A which means that they are under full Palestinian administration control. As such, the Israeli closure orders have effectively violated the Oslo Agreement and brought into existence an unprecedented legal situation that cannot be accepted.

  • The two organizations work in the educational and social fields (i.e. civil fields). The Israeli orders are military ones and are issued by the commander of the Israeli Army which is not allowed, in accordance to international norms, to violate and interfere with the activities of the educational and social organizations.  

  • The Fourth Geneva Convention (which Israel is a signatory to) forbids the Occupying Power from interfering and/or changing the social, cultural and educational program of the Occupied.  Clearly the Israeli closure orders are in direct contradiction of such Convention.

  • Under no circumstances it is comprehendible or acceptable under Israeli, Palestinian or international laws, treaties or conventions that property and buildings of associations can be confiscated and placed under the ownership of the Israeli Army.

  • Different laws and conventions state clearly that in the case that an association stops functioning for whatever reason, its property would automatically be transferred to similarly-minded organizations that work in the society. This would guarantee that the targeted population would not be affected through the disruption of services.

(3) Social, Economic and Humanitarian Violations:

  • Thousands of children and orphans have suffered social, educational as well as livelihood damages due to the closure orders.

  • Hundreds of families whose breadwinners work at the two organizations (in administration, teaching or service posts) have been negatively affected by the orders. This fact would lead to an increase in the unemployment level in the Governorate of Hebron which already suffers from an unemployment rate of 40%.

  • The closure of the commercial shops (including markets, clinics as well as clothes and jewelry shops, among others) located in the targeted properties will have a negative impact on the tens of families using the shops as the main source of income and investment.

  • The closure of Al Qasimi Building will make tens of families currently living in it homeless.

In Summary:

The Land Research Center is gravely concerned about the unprecedented Israeli steps vis-à-vis the tow organizations. The Center demands the following:


  • The Palestinian Authority has the right to defend its own laws and regulations dealing with charitable societies against any external interventions. 

  • The Israeli occupation forces must be prevented from executing the closure decisions and it must be obliged to return all of the files, equipment and materials confiscated during its raids on the two organizations’ property.

  • The European Union and the Quartet must immediately interfere to revoke the closure orders as these orders would negatively affect the peace efforts they are concerned with.

  • The states of the European Union, in their capacity as the sponsor of many educational and social activities in Palestine, are demanded to interfere to protect its programs from the total collapse due to the Israeli military practices which deals with orphan children in the same manner it deals with heavily-armed armies.

  • International organizations associated with the United Nations (including the UNESCO and the Organization of Children Rights in addition to the International Court of Justice) must interfere in this issue especially that the closure orders were issued in such a sensitive time in Palestinian history.     


Prepared by:
The Land Research Center



Categories: Confiscation