What is behind the Accelerated Targeting of Al-Makhrour Area west of the City of Beit Jala?

What is behind the Accelerated Targeting of Al-Makhrour Area west of the City of Beit Jala?
On the early morning of  May 3, 2012 , the Israeli occupation bulldozers accompanied by many Israeli Army vehicles stormed Al-Makhrour area west of Beit Jala city in the northern parts of Bethlehem Governorate and started without prior notification to demolish of a 300m2 restaurant owned by the local resident Ramzi Nakhleh Qesiyeh from Beit Jala city.
The Israeli demolition of Qesiyeh restaurant ended with massive destruction in the site with a financial losses exceeded 100,000 NIS.
Moreover, Mr. Qesiyeh received an Israeli notification to evacuate his house located nearby the demolished restaurant within two weeks. See Photos
Photos 1-6: the demolished resturant at Al-Makhrour area
Agriculture Road Closed
After the demolition of  Qesiyeh restaurant , and 2 km away, the Israeli bulldozers stationed in 18 dunums piece of lands owned by the local resident Sha’ban Mahmoud Abdullah Al-‘Ayaseh and started without a prior notification to raze an agriculture road opened by Mr. Al-‘Ayaseh four days ago to facilitate the cultivation of his land. See map 1 and Photos:

Photos 7-8: The Israeli bulldozer razing the agricultural road in Al-Makhrour

Map 1: the demolished restaurant & the razed agricultural road in Al-Makhrour


Photo 9-10: The Israeli Army leaving Al-Makhrour area following the demolition

Previous Targeting of Al-Makhrour Area
Al-Makhrour area had witnessed accelerated Israeli demolitions for the Palestinian houses and properties, where since December 13, 2011, until the date of writing this report 4 houses, agriculture well, and a restaurant had been demolished in addition to the destruction of 53 electric poles and closing agriculture road while the owners of the houses and lands in the area expecting Israeli targeting at anytime and most often it took place without a prior notification.
Al-Makhrour Targeting …… Long-term Colonial Dimension
Al-Makhrour is an area located in the southwestern part of the city of Beit Jala north of Bethlehem Governorate. It is bordered by Al-Walajeh village as well as the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Gilo from the north, Al-Khader village from the south, Battir and Husan villages from the west, Beit Jala city from the east.
It is worth mentioning that the lands of Al-Makhrour are one of the most fertile agriculture lands in Bethlehem Governorate, where residents of the area are deprived by the Israeli Occupation authorities from their legitimate right to build and cultivate on their own lands as the area is classified as “C” which according to the Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995 falls under the full Israeli control.
According to what are taking place on the ground in Al-Makhrour area, a question raised in the minds of the residents:-
What is Behind the Evolving Israeli Targeting of Al-Makhrour???
Actually, no specific answer satisfies their legitimate concerns, while in the time all of the indicators lead to pessimistic scenarios that may took place on the ground in the near future represented by a new colonial and expansionist project in the area.
If we make a simplified “Geopolitical Analysis” for Al-Makhrour area we can find that:
  • According to the latest revised route of the Segregation Wall published on the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s website on April 30, 2007; and after its completion, Al-Makhrour area along with Husan, Al -Walajeh, Nahalin, Wadi Fukin, Al- Jab’a, Khallet ‘Afana, Khallet Al Balluta, and Beit Sakariya communities (pop exceeding +23000) will be set in an enclave and in isolation from the main cities and centers of life in Bethlehem governorate (Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour).
  • Al-Makhrour area surrounded with series of Israeli settlements: Har Gilo settlement and the proposed settlement of “Giv’at Ya’el”1 from the north, Gilo from the north east, Gutsh Etzion settlement bloc from the south and southwest, Har Homa settlement from the northeast. Altogether, these settlements constitute a chain of settlements that encircled the city of Jerusalem and isolate it from the rest parts of the West Bank.
  • Al-Makhrour area falls in a strategic site that constitute  the geographical linking point between the aforementioned settlements north of Al-Makhrour and Gutsh Etzion settlement bloc in a manner that closing the settlement chain that surrounding the city of Jerusalem and cutting it from the West Bank, and accordingly the Israeli Occupation is tightening the grip on Al-Makhrour residents to push them toward a voluntary eviction from their lands as an initial step for starting a new colonial project in the area which could be an extension part for Giv’at Ya’el settlement or maybe a new settlement in the site after annexing the area. See map 2 :-

To Conclude
The demolition of the Palestinian houses and properties are illegal and contradicts with the international law rules and conventions:
  • 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.
  • 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’.




Categories: Demolition