Stop-Work orders against Palestinian structures in Shufa village, Tulkarem Governorate

Stop-Work orders against Palestinian structures in Shufa village, Tulkarem Governorate
On the 29th of September 2011, the Israeli committee for planning and construction, affiliated to the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by the occupation Army, raided the village of Shufa southeast of Tulkarem city and delivered seven demolition orders to Palestinian families in the village under the pretext that their houses/structure were built without valid building permits, as they are located in areas classified as ‘C’ according to OSLO II interim agreement of 1995.
The Israeli Committee threatened owners of the houses that they will have to pay for the demolition expenses in case these houses weren’t evacuated and demolished within one week. Owners of the threatened houses are: Nidal Abu Hamra, Fuad Kamal Ismail, Mu’awiah Musa, Ameen Odeh, Raed Muhammad Yousef, and the family of Al-sh’ar. 
Copies of the military orders that were distributed to Shufa villagers:

Map 1 shows the location of the threatened houses in Shufa Village, Tulkarem Governorate
Shufa Village, location and Population, and geopolitical status:
The village of Shufa is located 8 km to the south of Tulkarm city and has a total land area of 11,592 dunums. The village’s boundary area includes two hamlets, ‘Izbat Shufa and Kafa and is inhabited by 1235 residents (PCBS). According to OSLO II Interim agreement of 1995, the lands of Shufa village were classified to Areas ‘B’ & ‘C’; where areas ‘B’ constitute 10.5% (1535 dunums) of the village’s total land area and include the village’s most built-up area; and areas ‘C’[ constitute 89.5% (10,057 dunums) of the village’s total land area and include all the agricultural lands and open spaces.
The village of shufais located in the center of Avnei Hefetz-Enav corridor which also includes the settlements of Avne Hefetz to the north, Enav to the east and the settlement of Shavei Shomron in the Far East. An Israeli bypass road numbered 5515 pierces the lands of Shufa village from the middle and was constructed for the benefit of the three aforementioned settlements (Avnei Hefetz, Enav and Shaveit Shomron) as it connects them with Israeli settlements inside the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line). Table 1 gives details of the settlements located in Avnei Hefetz-Enav corridor.
Table 01: The settlements surrounding the Village of Shufa
Settlement area
Avne Hefetz
1397 (of which 304 dunums were confiscated from Shufa’s village for the establishment of the settlement)
Source: The Geographical Information System (GIS), ARIJ 2011
Furthermore, the village of Shufa lost 114 dunums of its lands for the construction of Israeli Segregation Wall from its western side.
Previous Israeli assaults in Shufa Village
On July 22, 2011, Israeli settlers of Avnei Hefetz settlement destroyed at least 100 Old Roman Olive trees in Izbat Shufa. 
On August 31, 2011, the Israeli occupation bulldozers under the protection of the occupation army re-closed with cement blocks the road connecting Shufa village with Izbat Shufa. Several years ago, the Israeli military forces closed the road with permanent dirt piles, and turned it into an Israeli road only, serving thus the settlers of Avnei Hefetz settlement settlers. the IOF justified the re-closure of the road as ‘vital’ for the ‘security’ of the Avni Hefetz settlers and Israeli people driving the road.
The demolition of Palestinian houses under International law
Israeli’s determination to go forward with its demolition policy in the Occupied Palestinian territory aims at obstructing the growth of Palestinian communities and displacing them from their place of residence so that it can implement its colonial plans which have never been set on the basis of unauthorized construction, security needs or military necessities. This in turn violates two distinct articles (articles 33 & 53) of the Fourth Geneva Convention that clearly make any destruction of property as illegal under international law, unless this act is crucial for military purposes. This policy in all terms violates various international laws and conventions, most of which are:
  • Article 46 of the Hague Regulations provides that private property must be respected and that it cannot be confiscated.
  • Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that the destruction of property by the occupying state is forbidden, ‘except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.’
  • Article 147 of the Convention provides 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.

[1] Projected Mid -Year Population for Tulkarm Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006
[2] In area B: Palestinians have full control over the civil administration and Israel continues to have overriding responsibility for security;
[3]  In Areas ‘C’: Palestinians have responsibility for civil life such as economics, health, and education; while, Israel retains full control over security and administration related to the territory.


Categories: Military Orders