“The Palestinians always pay the heavy price of Peace”
Israel Targets Duma village in Nablus governorate

“The Palestinians always pay the heavy price of Peace” <br> Israel Targets Duma village in Nablus governorate



As the US secretary of state, John Kerry, brings another American peace initiative to restart negotiations between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, the Israeli government (as usual) welcomes him by further confiscation of Palestinian lands and demolition of properties in the occupied West Bank.
On the early morning of June 20, 2013, the Israeli Authorities escorted by the Israeli Occupation Army (IOA) raided Duma village, southeast Nablus city, and handed over Palestinian families in the village 10 demolition orders targeting their structures under the pretext of lacking building permits from the Israeli Civil Administration and accordingly they’ll be demolished. See Table 1
Table 1: Israeli military orders targeting Duma village in Nablus Governorate
Israeli Military Order No.
Targeted Palestinian Structure
A building of two floors, 300 sqm&sup2;
800 sqm&sup2; structure
A building of two floors, 500 sqm&sup2;
120 sqm&sup2; structure
200 sqm&sup2; structure
Two structures: one is 40 sqm&sup2; and another is 30 sqm&sup2;
40 sqm&sup2; structure
30 sqm&sup2; structure
150 sqm&sup2; structure
Source: Duma Village Council, Nablus 2013



The targeted Palestinian structures are located in the area classified as ‘C’ where Israel retains its full control over security and administrative matters. For that reason, the Palestinians in area ‘C’ are obliged to obtain building permits for their structures (no matter what the type of the structure is) from the Israeli Civil Administration in order to be able to build; however, Israel always justifies its refusal of Palestinians’ applications to build in area “C” by that they don’t meet the Israeli requirements for building and construction in that area.
It’s worth mentioning that most of Duma village lands, 10982 dunums, which constitute almost 63% of the total village area, are situated in the Eastern part of the West Bank, which comes to be known among Palestinians as the Eastern segregation zone due to the Israeli measures imposed on this part of the West Bank since 1967 and until today, starting by declaring vast areas as ‘Closed Military Zone’ so that Israel can cease Palestinian urban development and economic development. Israel also seeks to displace Palestinians from their place of residence and eventually implements its colonial plans in the area, in an attempt to strengthen its presence in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Additionally, the Israeli policies to take over lands in the eastern segregation zone came along with what Benjamin Netanyahu (the current Israeli Prime Minister) declared on June 3, 2005 which stressed on Israel’s unwillingness to give up areas in the eastern segregation zone where he said: ’The Jordan valley won’t be included in any of Israel’s withdrawal plans… The Jordan Valley will remain under Israel’s control forever. It is Israel’s eastern defensive shield…We will not go back to the 1967 borders’ .
The  system of controlled access checkpoints was established along the Jordan Valley and the shores of the Dead Sea and increased the suffering of the Palestinian people there. This was excately what of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared in May 2004, when asked about the wall in the eastern area of the West Bank and the Jordan valley area, where he said: ’there will ‘not [be] a fence being built there today, unless we need to. Here and there we will block access points to the Jordan Valley’.
The geopolitical status of Duma
According to the Oslo II interim agreement signed in 1995 between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, Duma village lands were divided into areas ‘B’ and ‘C’. About 954 dunums (5.4% of the total village area) were classified as area ‘B’ where the Palestinian Authority has the control over civil matters and Israel retains the control over security matters; while the remaining 16,400 dunums (94.6% of the total village area) were classified as area ‘C’. See table (2) below:
Table 2: The geopolitical statues of Duma according to the Oslo II interim agreement in 1995
Area in dunums
Percent of total village area
Area A
Area B
Area C
Source: ARIJ-GIS Unit, 2013

Previous Israeli occupation attacks

The targeting of Palestinian buildings and properties in Duma village is not the first of its kind, where on the 14th of April, 2008, 11 warnings were issued by the so-called “the Supreme Regulation Council of the Occupation”, in which it decided to stop the work at 10 residential and agricultural structures under the pretext that these buildings were built illegally in the area classified as “C”, without obtaining  permits from the Israeli Civil Administration.
Duma Village, general glance
Duma village is located 24 km to the southeast of Nablus city, and is bounded by Majdal Bani Fadel village to the north, Jordan Valley to the east, Khirbat Mughayyar to the south, Qusra and Jaloud villages to the west. The village has a total population of 3400 residents (PCBS – 2011).
To the west of the village, lies the Israeli bypass road No. 458 which penetrates deep inside the lands of Duma village. The Palestinian travel on this bypass road is forbidden unless a permit is granted by the Israeli Civil Administration to Palestinians to be able to travel on it. The road extends from Duma and Al Maghar villages in Nablus Governorate and then heads south to pass through the lands of Al Mughayyar and Kafer Malek villages in Ramallah Governorate to reach Kochav Hashahar and Rimunim settlements in Ramallah Governorate. The road then continues southwards to reach Maale Mikhmas settlement and then Alon settlement to finally link with the Israeli bypass road number 1 which goes to Jerusalem.
Duma village and its strategical location as it stands within area ‘C’ and the Eastern Segregation Zone (the eastern part of the West Bank), makes the lands of that village vulnerable to expropriation by the Israeli government at any moment.
Since 1967 till today, Israel has been using its leverage over area ‘C’ to loot and confiscate as much as it could from Palestinian lands in order to accomplish its major plan of controlling the Eastern Segregation Zone. Moreover, Israel realizes the importance of that zone as it, on one hand, constitutes a defense shield to its future borders from the Jordanian side, and on the other hand, it imposes facts on the ground in the long term so it would be impossible to withdraw from it in any future negotiations with the Palestinians. For that reason, Israel works in a systematic approach in that zone to take full control over the area by building new settlements and expanding existing ones, erecting outposts and establishing military bases for its army. By doing so, Israel ensures that this zone will remain in its hands as long as possible.
To conclude
Despite all the incontrovertible evidences that Israel is the only one responsible for the failure of every peace initiative, and the Palestinians always pay the heavy price. These actions have been condemned over and over by the International community and all human rights 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 RightsEveryone 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.
Categories: Demolition