The Demolition of un-used commercial stores in Al ‘Auja village – Jericho Governorate

The Demolition of un-used commercial stores in Al ‘Auja village – Jericho Governorate


On January 23, 2012, the Israeli Occupation Army raided the northern part of Al-Auja village, in Jericho Governorate, in the Jordan Valley and demolished an under-construction building consisting of nine commercial stores (each has a total area of 53 m²) and belong to Thiab Abd Al Hameed Njoum, Yasir Abd Al Rahman Njoum, Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Njoum and Faysal Hussein Njoum. Construction of the building started in late 2009 and was in its final stages when the Israeli bulldozers brought it down to earth. It is worth mentioning that the building was notified with a halt of construction order one and a half years ago by the Israeli civil administration under the pretext of unlicensed building. See Map 1 & copy of the military order
Map 1: location of the demolitios building

Photo 1: A copy of the military order no. 304150 which was delivered to
owners of the demolished commercial stores one and a half years ago
The demolition occurred under the pretext that the building was established without proper licensing documents issued from the Israeli Civil Administration due to its location in Area C where Israel retains full control over the territory; but the truth is that the building is located along the Israeli By-Pass road #90 and has always been under the risk of demolition and so it was demolished. Photos 1-8 show the Israeli demolition carried out in the village of Al-Auja:
Al-‘Auja Village, location & population
Al-Auja village, which has a population of 5044 (PCBS 2011), is located in the northeast of Jericho City, 16 km far from its center.. The total Area of the village lands is 107906 dunums, including 832 dunums constituting the built-up area in the village.
 According to Oslo II Interim Agreement signed in September 1995 between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, the lands of Al ‘Auja village were classified into areas “A,” and “C,” where in Area A, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) holds all responsibilities for internal security and Public order; while in area C, the PNA holds responsibility for civil life such as Economics, health, and education; while, Israel retains full control over security and administration related to the territory. See Table 1
Table 1: The Geopolitical Divisions of Al Auja Village – Jericho Governorate
Percent of Total village area Area in dunums Area
15.6 16879 Area A
0 0 Area B
84.4 91027 Area C
100 107906 Total
Source: The Geo-informatics Department – ARIJ 2011
The village of Al ‘Auja is surrounded with a set of settlements, outposts and military bases from all directions; where from the north, it is bordered by the settlement of Niran and two Israeli outposts, Niran west and Niran east; from the south, it is bordered by the Israeli military base Nahal Tzori and the settlement of Na’omi; from the west, it is bordered by the settlement of Yitav and a number of military locations which are off limits to Palestinians of the area; while from the East, the Israeli bypass road No. 90 cuts through the lands of the village and dissects it into two parts. In Table 2,gives details of the Israeli military establishments on lands of the village:-
Table 2: Israeli Settlements, outposts and military bases established on lands of Al-‘Auja Village in Jericho Governorate
Establishment Name
 Establishment Date
Area of military established, confiscated from Al ‘Auja village
Netiv Hagdud
Omer Farm
Southwest Niran
Feb 2001 – Nov 2002
East Niran
Feb 2001 – Nov 2002
Military Base
Military Base
Source: ARIJ Database 2012

Map 2: Location Map of Al ‘Auja village
Previous Israeli Attacks against land and properties in ‘Al ‘Auja village:
On May 8, 2011, the Israeli committee for planning and construction affiliated to the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by the Israeli Army raided Al-Auja village and handed three Halt of Construction orders to Palestinian residents in the village, with the pretext of building without license as the structures are located in ‘Area C’, which according to Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995, Israel retains full control over security and administration related to the territory. The Halt of Construction orders stated that the Final Sentence session of the properties would be on July 13, 2011, in Beit El Supreme Military Court.
Later On September 8, 2011, the Israeli Occupation Army delivered one halt of construction order to a Kindergarten and confiscated two caravans in the Bedouin community of Arab Al-Kharabsha in Al ‘Auja village. The Halt of Construction order stated that the Final Sentence session of the Kindergarten Case, would be on October 12, 2011, in Beit El Supreme Military Court.
To Conclude
Throughout the course of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, the Israeli Army carried out a systematic campaign of demolishing Palestinians’ houses in the occupied Palestinian territory. After the  signing of Oslo II Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the year 1995, Israel, had escalated its campaign against the Palestinian houses, especially those located in Area “C” (according to Oslo Agreement under full Israeli control) under the pretext of lacking building permits. This false and illegal justification comes to serve Israel’s end purpose, to uproot and to drive out as many Palestinians from their homes and lands to build more Illegal Israeli settlements, outposts, bypass roads, military bases.
It is worth mentioning that according to Oslo Agreements, redeployments from Area C and transfer of internal security responsibility to the Palestinian Police in Areas B and C will be carried out in three phases, each to take place after an interval of six months, to be completed 18 months after the inauguration of the Palestinian Council in 1996, except for the issues of permanent status negotiations and of Israel’s overall responsibility for Israelis and borders. However, Israel did not respect its commitments with the Palestinians, or refused to do so at least until it carries out its own agenda starting with settlements expansion, building the Segregation Wall, and most importantly fortifies its grip over the land.
According to Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited to demolish Palestinian houses: ‘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’.
Under the same convention, Article 147 provides that ‘extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly’ is a grave breach of international law.
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’.

Prepared by  
The Applied Reserach Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition