Land Leveling and uprooting of trees In Nahhalin Village southwest of Bethlehem city

Land Leveling and uprooting of trees In Nahhalin Village southwest of Bethlehem city
On May 24, 2010, the Israeli Army bulldozers protected by the Israeli Occupation Forces staged into Jabal Abu Al-Qroun area in Nahhalin village southwest Bethlehem city and razed around 11 dunums of lands owned by a number of local residents and destroyed more than 500 Olive and fruit trees under the pretext that these lands are classified according to the Israeli Army as “State Land”, where the Israeli Occupation Authorities have the right to use these lands after confiscating them from their owners. The razed lands are woned by Mr. ‘Ali Mohammad Taha Fannoun, Mr. Omar Mousa ‘Ali Souad and Mr. Fahed Nimer Najajreh. See Map 1

Map 1: the targeted lands in Nahhalin Village  
It is worth mentioning that in March 2010, owners of the razed lands received two military orders (05/26) and (05/36) issued by the so-called Israeli Civil Administration notifying them to evacuate their lands under the pretext that these lands are classified as “State Land”. Table 1 below gives details of the two military orders in Nahhalin village:
Table 1: the Israeli Military Orders that targeted Nahhalin Village
Military Order No.
Area of the Targeted Lands
Source: Geographic Information System Unit- ARIJ 2010
Nahhalin village … Location & Population
Nahhalin is one of the villages of Bethlehem Governorate, populated by 8053 residents (PCBS 2010). It is bordered by Husan village and the Illegal Israeli settlement of Betar ‘Illit  from the north, the Illegal Israeli settlement of Rush Tzurim from the south, Artas village as well as the Illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel from the east, Al Jab’a village and the Illegal Israeli settlement of Geva’ot from its west. (Map 1)
The Geopolitical Status of Nahhalin Village
According to the Oslo II Interim agreement of 1995, Nahhalin village lands, as well as the rest of the Palestinian Territory were divided into areas A, B and C. In Area A, the Palestinian National Authority has complete autonomy over administrative and security issues, where in area B, the Palestinians have civil responsibilities; while in Area C, Israel has full control over the security and administrative issues. Table 2 clarifies the classification of lands of Nahhalin village:-
Table 2: Classification of Nahhalin Lands According to Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995
%from the total Town lands Area-Dunums Land Classification
0 0 Area A
6.6 1,132 Area B
93.4 16,118 Area C
100 17,250 Total
Source: Geographical Information System- ARIJ 2010
The village of Nahhalin is surrounded from its four directions with a set of Israeli settlements, Rush Tzurim, Neve Daniel, Geva’ot and Betar ‘Illit, which were built on its lands and caused the confiscation of 1411 dunums (11.6%) of its total area which amounts to 12126 dunums. Table 3:-
Table 3: Illegal Israeli Settlements Built on Nahhalin Village’s Lands
Settlement Name
Date of Est.
Area- Dunums
Rush Tzurim
Neve Daniel
Betar ‘Illit
Source: Geographical Information System- ARIJ 2010
In addition, the construction of the Israeli Segregation wall will put Nahhalin village along with other neighboring Palestinian communities in an enclave and segregate them from the center of life in Bethlehem Governorate.
Legal & International Status
Israel aims by its Illegal confiscation of Nahhalin village lands to impose facts on the ground and to prevent local residents from building on their own lands in order to expand the adjacent Illegal settlements which were built on the village’s lands. This in turn constitutes a grave breach for the International law rules and conventions such as:
  • Article 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated 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 Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
  • Also under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
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Categories: Agriculture