The demolition of a Palestinian house in the besieged An Nu’man Village east of Bethlehem city

The demolition of a Palestinian house in the besieged An Nu’man Village east of Bethlehem city
The chain of arbitrary actions continues against Palestinian citizens living within the Jerusalem Municipal boundaries. On the 21st of December 2010, the Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished the house of Sami Daoud Al Shawawra in Al Nu’man village east of Beit Sahour city, allegedly for illegal building due to their location within the area of Jerusalem Municipal boundaries which were illegally redrawn back in 1967; The area of Mr. Sami’s house is 120m² and provides a shelter for 6 members of Al Shawawra family. Furthermore, the Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) gave Al Shawawra family 15 minutes only to salvage whatever property they can from their house any of their properties and hindered them from resorting to the tents which have been provided to them by the Red Cross Organization after the demolition took place.
The case of Al Shawawra family is neither the first nor the last in the West Bank in general, and in Al Nu’man village in particular. Al Nu’man village has been under the vicious and well-organized attack of the IOA since the 1967 war, when Israel Occupied the West Bank area including East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip, it unilaterally extended the boundaries of Jerusalem Municipality form 6.5 km² to 71 km² to include lands from the nearby Palestinian cities and villages including An Nu’man village. Due to this fact, came to the control of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem. As a result, An Nu’man village residents were considered as “illegal residents” in their village of birth which they lived in for years because their lands and properties came under the control of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem. From that date, Israel launched its house demolition campaign against An Nu’man village houses, and sought to confiscate their lands and evacuate its inhabitants under the pretext of not being allowed to continue living in areas annexed to Jerusalem Municipality’.  Map 1

Map 1: An Nu’man village within the illegally redrawn Jerusalem Municipal Boundaries
Due to the fact that villagers of An Nu’man hold West Bank ID cards and live in an area that falls within Jerusalem Municipal boundaries, the procedure of issuing building permits is critical. Palestinians living within the Municipal boundaries of Jerusalem often try to acquire building permits for their houses before they start building but they fail to get the permits due to the many obstacles set by the municipality of Jerusalem, or more specifically, the planning and building committee in charge. Some of these obstacles are: the excessive overcharge for building permits application, the rezoning of lands in East Jerusalem to make it out of the designated areas set for development to prevent Palestinians from building and developing and the excessive penalties against Palestinians who build without licenses; while Israeli residents (settlers) living in Israeli settlements and neighborhood in Jerusalem (within Jerusalem Municipality Boundaries in particular) do not face similar problems when acquiring a building permit, which is translated to ‘deliberate discriminatory procedures’ taken against Palestinians living in Jerusalem because Israeli residents (settlers) don’t have to undergo any of the aforementioned procedures demanded of Palestinians.
The Israeli Segregation Wall plan in An Nu’man village
In 2002, the village of An Nu’man started to witness the construction of the Israeli Segregation Wall on its lands. Today, the wall extends a length of 1.1 km on lands of An Nu’man village and isolates it from the nearby Palestinian communities such as its twin village Al Khas, the village of Dar Salah, the cities of Beit Sahour and Bethlehem which are considered the center of life for residents of An Nu’man village, especially after the eruption of the second Intifada in 2000. Later in 2003, the Israeli Occupation authorities announced about the construction of Mazmuria crossing on lands of the village which will serve as a connection point between Israeli settlements located at the eastern side of Bethlehem governorate and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc and the settlement of Har Homa and those inside Jerusalem. The construction of the crossing started in 2004 and was completed in 2006. In August 2006, and in a step that increased the suffering of An Nu’man village residents, the Israeli Occupation forces installed a gate at the entrance of the village which in turn tightened the grip on Palestinians living in An Nu’man and limited their movement into and out of the village. Also, the IOF limited the entry of goods and supplies to the village and it was up to the gate personnel to decide what enters the village and what doesn’t. The merchants in the village depend on the neighboring communities to fulfill the supply demand of An Nu’man village residents, yet, due to the construction of the wall, and the crossing passage, the access to the neighboring communities and the centers of life such as Beit Sahour and Bethlehem cities became difficult and time consuming. Furthermore, the new Israeli law of ‘list of contraband’ that was imposed on the people of the village plays another role in suffocating their lives as people are prohibited from getting all the essentials for their day to day living. Map 2  
Map 2: The Israeli Segregation plan in Nu’man village
An Nu’man Village, Location & Population
Al Nu’man Village is in located at the northeastern part of the Bethlehem governorate. The village is considered part of the Beit Sahour village cluster, along with 18 other Palestinian localities; all comprise a total area of 24,780 dunums. Al Nu’man sits on a total urban area of 55 dunums and is a home to around 200 people.
To conclude:-
It has been widely recognized that the illegal and unilateral annexation of Palestinians lands back in 1967 to expand Jerusalem Municipality borders was just intended to annex the land to the state of Israel and force people to leave through the exertion of numerous policies such as house demolition and denial of building permits to Palestinians living in Jerusalem, stricting the movement of Palestinians within the territory they live, land confiscation, land zoning and other polices that contributed much to the suffering of Palestinians in Jerusalem city in particular and the West Bank territory in General. In spite of the fact that Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were granted ‘residency’ rights in order to remain in the city, these rights were never granted to them by the Israeli Authorities which seeks to voluntarily displace people from their areas in violation of the signed agreements with the Palestinians and the application of International law. The Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995, article1, Item 2 and 4 clearly state that ‘… the unity and integrity of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shall be maintained and respected…).


Categories: Demolition