In light of Obama’s visit, Israel targets Khallet Athaba in southern Hebron Hills with demolition noticies

In light of Obama’s visit, Israel targets Khallet Athaba in southern Hebron Hills with demolition noticies


On March 7, 2013, the Israeli Civil Administration escorted by the Israeli occupation army raided Khallet Athaba (Athaba hamlet), southeast of Yatta town, south of Hebron, and handed over a number of Palestinian families living in the area demolition notices targeting 24 structures under the pretext of ‘building illegally’ in the area classified as ‘C’ which, according to Oslo II interim agreement of September 1995, falls under the full Israeli control. The demolition notices targeted 10 residential houses, 6 water wells, 4 bathrooms (toilets), 4 animal sheds, in addition to 200 dunums of land planted with olive trees. 


The demolition notices gave Palestinians of Khallet Athaba a grace period until the 7th of April 2013 to appeal to the Israeli military court in Beit El, and try to obtain building permits for their structures from the Israeli Civil Administration to prevent the demolition of their houses. However, this procedure doesn’t guarantee the safety of the structures from being exposed to demolition since Israel is seeking to control and annex this strategic area to its proper, to implement its colonial projects.


The threatened structures belong to: Adnan Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Mousa Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Raghib Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Saud Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Badawi Al-Dababseh, Ali Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Dababseh, Mohammed Mohammed Al-Dababseh and Nadia Ahmad Abdu Allah Al-Dababseh.


An interview conducted by ARIJ field team with Mousa Mohammed Al-Dababseh, a resident of Khallet Athaba and owner of a property which is threatened of demolition, said that: ‘We’ve been living here before the Israeli occupation of the area, and our houses were built before the year of 1967. We are the indigenous people of this land, they have no right to destroy our houses and shelters … No matter what will happen we will stay here.’  Below are some photos of the threatened structures in Khallet Athaba: 










Photos of the threatened Structures in Khallet Athaba



Israel claims that targeting Khallet Athaba area with demolition notices are ‘precautionary measures’ to ensure security and safety for the illegal Israeli settlements and outposts established in the area (Ma’on settlement and Mitzpe Ya’er, Avigal outposts); However, this policy is one part of the Ideology of the Israeli State to confiscate and annex as much Palestinian land as possible and annex it to its future borders which are being redrawn illegally and unilaterally.


Additionally, Israel is working hard to demolish and evacuate all the Palestinian houses and structures in the communities surrounding Khallet Athaba since they constitute a “security threat” to the Israeli settlements and outposts established in the area, ‘as claimed by Israel.’

Furthermore, this area is classified by the Israeli Army as “Firing zone 918”, an area which the Israeli army wants for military training. Israel is also seeking to annex that area to its future borders by relocating the course of the segregation wall according to what was planned in the year 2004, where the southern Hebron hills are to become isolated between the 1949 Armistice Line. . 


It is important to mention that on the 29th of July of 2012, the Israeli Minster of Defense, Ehud Barak, ordered to evacuate 8 Palestinian hamlets located in close proximity of Khallet Athaba, in the southern Hebron hills, for military purposes. The 8 hamlets are also located in the area classified as “C”, and house more than 1,500 Palestinians. See Map 1 & Map 2




Khallet Athaba, General Glance:


Khallet Athaba is a small hamlet located southeast of Yatta town, south of Hebron. The hamlet is surrounded by two illegal Israeli outposts, Avigal and Mizpe Ya’ir, from the north and northwest respectively, and a few kilometers away from Ma’on settlement in the northwest, and an Israeli military base nearby. More than 55 Palestinians live in Khallet Athaba and depend much on agriculture and livestock for their living. See Map 3





The Israeli occupation army constantly imposes insurmountable obstacles on Khallet Athaba inhabitants and the communities nearby to force them give up the land and finally leave the area. Additionally, the Israeli occupation army tries to distort the area geographically by implementing its colonial projects, such as erecting and expanding illegal outposts, settlements, military bases and constructing Israeli bypass roads to ease Israeli settlers’ movement from one settlement to another at the expense of Palestinian lands and properties.


Previous violations by the Israeli occupation army against Palestinians of Khallet Athaba


 Khallet Athaba has suffered from numerous Israeli violations in the previous years, mostly due to its location in Area “C”. The latest violation occurred on the 21st of February 2013, when the Israeli occupation army (IOA) prevented Palestinians of Khallet Athaba from entering their land in order to plow it, and to prune their Athaba indicated[1] that farmers had to wait all day long hoping that the IOA would let them enter their lands, but a representative of the Israeli Civil Administration informed them that they won’t be allowed to enter their lands.


It should be noted that the Israeli occupation army has prevented Palestinian farmers of Khallet Athaba from entering their agricultural land since the second Intifada which erupted in 2000, by surrounding the area with a security fence. The IOA also constructed an Israeli bypass road to create a geographical contiguity between Israeli settlements and outposts established in the area.


To Conclude:


The Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinians of Khallet Athaba are an actual evidence of the continuous Israeli ethnic cleansing policy to expel and eradicate the Palestinians from their own land.


Israel considers the Palestinian communities such as Khallet Athaba and the surrounding areas in the southern Hebron hills an obstacle to the implementation of its colonist projects in the area. Eventually, this will give Israel a chance to move forward with the establishment of new settlements and outposts in order to intensify its settlers’ presence in the West Bank territory, which in turn will kill any chance of a viable Palestinian state in the future.


The Israeli seizing and razing of Palestinian-owned lands and the destruction of Palestinian properties is illegal and constitute a grave breach of the International law rules and human conventions, some of which are listed below:

  • 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.

  • ‘Article 12’ of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

  • Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

  • 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’.


[1] Hebron Rehabilitation committee (HRC)







Categories: Demolition