Halt of construction notifications in the village of Azzun

Halt of construction notifications in the village of Azzun
Officers in the planning and building committee of the so-called Israeli Civil administration in the West Bank handed over two citizens from Azzoun village, Qalqilya district, notices to stop construction in their industrial and residential structures for allegedly building in the so-called Area C without getting permits from the occupation authorities. The notifications have been delivered to residents in the western region of the town on the road between the town and Izbat at Tabib on the morning of Sunday, January 17, 2010. According to the notifications, the owners were requested to come to the court of Beit El, which is located in the main headquarters of the ‘civil administration’ near the city of Ramallah to consider the issue on February 8, 2010.
Table 1: Notified structures by name of owner, number of family members, type of structure and area
Owner’s name
No. of family members
Of whom children under 18
Type of structure
Mohammed Abdul Latif Sweidan
Under construction house
Ibrahim Hussein Ghannam
Marble factory

Photo 1: Mr. Mohammed Sweidan’s under construction house
For the third time:
The victim, Mohammed Abdul Latif Sweidan, was being warned to stop work on his house for the third time in a row, where he is unemployed and there is no stable source of income to support his family. In addition,  he owns no alternative piece of land rather than the one classified as zone C (under full Israeli control) and he hasn’t enough money to buy a piece of land inside zone B which is under Palestinian civic affairs.  

Since the year 2000 until the present time the number of facilities that have been warned to halt construction on them or received demolition orders in the town of Azzun is approximately 11, of which one facility was demolished in 2007- a municipal park funded by USAID-

Photo 2: Mr. Ibrahim Ghannam’s  marble factory
Land emptying policy:
It is noteworthy that the policy of demolishing homes by the occupation authorities in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, which is condemned by all human rights institutions and by all international norms and laws is one of the Israeli policies that aims to empty the land of the original owners with a view to seizing the land and annexing it to Israeli colonies. This reality is now threatening the very existence of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories as most land has been taken for exclusive Israeli use.
Background to Azzun:
Azzun is located on the road between Nablus and Qalqilya, about twenty-three kilometers south of Nablus, nine kilometers east of Qalqilya. It is also located on the road between the towns of Qalqilya and Tulkarm, at the distance of about twenty two kilometers south of Tulkarm. It is linked to the city of Ramallah by a paved road that travels south through the villages of Kafr Thuluth, Masha, Deir Ballut and Bir Zeit, and, thus, the Azzun town is situated in the middle of a cluster of villages: from the north the villages of Sir, Jayyus, Kafr Jammal, Kafr Abbush, Kafr Zibad and Kafr Sur; from the south the villages of Kafr Thuluth, Siniriya, Masha, az Zawiya and Bidiya; from the west the villages of Nabi Elias, Isla and Ezbet at Tabib; from the east the villages of Kafr Laqif, Jinsafout, Ematin, Al Funduq, Hajja, Baqet Al Hatab, Kafr Qaddum,  Jit, Farta’a  and Sura.
In the Ottoman era, the road connecting the towns of Nablus and Jaffa passed through the valley of Azzun. The area and the limits of the town of Azzun was approximately twenty-four thousand dunums (1dunum=1000 M2) before the war of 1948. After the war, the town lost about 8870 dunum ( 36.9% of it’s total land area). The remaining 15 130 dunums are mostly arid and rain fed land classified as followed:
1.     6000 dunums forests;
2.     8000 dunums olive trees;
3.     1000 dunums citrus.
Azzun’s built up area is only 1209 dunums which is far below the local need and the towns’ natural growth. It is worth noting that all Palestinian built up zones in the West Bank were decided by the occupation authorities before the signing of the Oslo declaration in 1993 and all of them were confined to certain limits in order to minimize the Palestinian construction in the West Bank as much as possible. According to latest census of the Palestinian central Bureau  of Statistics held in the year 2007, Azzun’s population toll was 7985.
Israeli colonies in the area:
  A number of illegal colonies and colonial posts were built inside Azzun’s land as followed:
1.     Maaleh Shomron, established in 1980, it’s municipal area is 1903 dunums including 216 dunums designed as built up area, while it’s population at the end of 2008 was 582 people
2.     Ginot Shomron, established in 1985 and it’s built up zone is 484 dunums;
3.     Karne Shomron, established in 1978, it’s municipal area is 7339 dunums, of which 1351 dunums built up area while it’s population at the end of 2008 was 6559 inhabitants.

[1]GIS department at LRC
[2] Azzun’s municipal council
[3] GIS department at LRC
[4] Foundation for Middle East Peace- Washington


Categories: Military Orders