“Ethnic Cleansing in the Jordan Valley” Demolition of an Entire Bedouin Community in Fasayel Village north of Jericho City

“Ethnic Cleansing in the Jordan Valley” Demolition of an Entire Bedouin Community in Fasayel Village north of Jericho City
Like many of the Palestinian villages and communities in the oPt, the village of Fasayel, along with all of the Jordan valley communities, are facing a systematic Israeli colonial campaign which aims to eradicate from their own lands by demolishing their properties, tightening and restricting their movement, and depriving them from most basic necessities of natural life.
On the early morning of June 14, 2011, without a prior notification, more than 30 Israeli military vehicles, protected by two Israeli bulldozers, stormed Fasayel village north of the city of Jericho in the Jordan valley and demolished 26 residential barracks and tents owned by local families, in addition to the confiscating the electricity wires in the area.
Mr. Ibrahim ‘Abayyat, the head of Al Fasyal village council, indicated that the Israeli Occupation Authority warned the residents not to build in the area due to their location in area “C,” which is under the Israeli control  (administrative and security issues) according to Oslo II interim Agreement of 1995. Mr. ‘Abayyat added that the Israeli demolition displaced more than 120 individuals including women, children, and the elderly.
The demolished barracks were owned by the following individuals; Sami Mousa ‘Ali, Khader Yasin Mousa Arshed, Hussein Yasin Mousa Arshed, Abed Yasin Arshed, Ali Hussein Zayed, Najeh Ali Hussein Zayed, Kayed Atallah Rateb, Taleb Mousa, Khalid Abdullah and Issa Abdullah Ghazal.
Previous Israeli Violations in Fasayel village
It is worth mentioning that during the few last years Fasayel village has been systematically targeted by the Israeli Army many times; local residents have been repeatedly receiving military demolition orders, all of which were executed. The following are some of the Israeli violations:
On March 8, 2010, residents of Fasayel village were notified with evacuation orders to remove their sheep barns and barracks in two weeks. Among owners, the following were identified: ‘Ali Hussein ‘Abayyat, Taleb Musa Al Ghazal, Sami Musa Al Ghazal, Ahmad Abdullah Al Ghazal, Khalid Abdullah Al Ghazal and Kayed Rashayda.
On June 9, 2010, the Israeli occupation forces authorities delivered a number of military orders to residents of Al Fasayal to evacuate; the authorities  demolished their homes and sheep barns which were owned by Ibrahim Salem Ibbayat(house of 80m²),As’ad Rashayda(house of40m²), Issam Ibrahim Salem Ibbayat(House of 70 m²), and Muhammad Jdei’ Rashayda(sheep barn of 30m²). Moreover, on October 21, 2009, 11 Palestinian families from Fasayel village received military demolition orders for their residential barrackses and other structures.
Fasayel village; location and population
Fasayel is a Palestinian village located about 23 Kilometers north of the city of Jericho. The built up area for the village is 194 dunums where it is inhabited by 1132 (PCBS 2010). The village is surrounded by a set of Illegal Israeli settlements which have limited the urban expansion of the village over the years and prevented villagers from exercising their normal lives.  It is bordered by the Israeli settlement of Yafit and Pezael to the North, the settlements of Gilgal, Tomer and Netiv Hegdud to the South, and the Israeli bypass road (Israeli controlled road which links the Illegal Israeli settlements in the north with the others in the south). The table below clarifies details of the Israeli settlements which surround the village of Fasayel:
Table of the Israeli settlements located north and south of Fasayel Village
Settlement Name
Date of Establishment
1972 272
1980 158
1978 303
1970 171
Netive Hegdud
1975 177
Source : ARIJ Database 2011
New master plan for Fasayel Village
In 2008, the Israeli Planning Department, operating within the Israeli Civil Administration, decided to issue exclusive master plans for a number of Palestinian villages located in area C in the West Bank; the village of Fasayel in the Jordan Valley was one of them. This shift in the Israeli Civil Administration policy came as a result of an effective pressure from the international Quartet and the Office of its representative Tony Blair.
However, and regardless of the motivation behind this change of Israeli attitude, the master plans presented by the Israeli civil administration for the selected Palestinian communities located in area “C” did not even meet the minimum needs of Palestinian communities. Furthermore, the Israeli civil administration did not take into consideration the current status of the communities or its future needs.
Moreover, and despite the fact that the threatened and demolished Palestinian houses and barracks in Fasayel village are located in the area of the new proposed master plan adopted by the Israeli Civil Administration, Israel is continuing with its colonial practices to ethnically cleanse Fasayel village and the rest of the Palestinian villages and communities in the Jordan Valley in order to serve the Israeli colonial and expansionist agenda. On the other hand, Israel made sure that the master plans assigned to Israeli settlements in the oPt are well and sufficient to cope with anticipated future growth of settlers’ population, in addition to easily formulated procedures for building and development plans
Legal & International Status 
After the 1967 war, Israel declared the Jordan Valley a ‘Closed Military Area,” and other parts as ‘State land’. Therefore, construction for Palestinians became a restricted procedure, nearly totally prohibited while there are 37 Illegal Israeli settlement was built in the area,  live in it approximately 9000 Israeli settlers .
 Without doubt, Israel is seeking to ethnically cleanse all of the Jordan Valley area where most of the Palestinian villages and communities are a legitimate target. In order for the Israeli Army and its bulldozers to achieve the ultimate desire for the Israeli Occupation, they are pressuring the residents of the Jordan valley to voluntarily leave their own lands.
The Israeli violations in the Fasayal village do not different much from violations that take place in the West Bank Governorates, which is contradictory of the following Geneva conventions and international laws :
  • Articles 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949: Israel is prohibited to demolish Palestinian houses according to 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.
  • Moreover, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) Article 5 provides that: ‘States’ or Parties must 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’
  • Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provide: 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.
Categories: Demolition