Israel is implementing a policy of collective punishment against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

Israel is implementing a policy of collective punishment against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank


The Israeli occupation bulldozers guarded by a large force of Israeli military army (IOA) raided al Khader town, west of Bethlehem city on the 18th of June, 2014 and reduced to rubble two Palestinian houses and a water cistern allegedly for building without proper building Authorization from the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA), due to their location in “C” area, which according to OSLO II Interim agreement of 1995, falls under the full Israeli control, administrative and security. See Map 1

The Israeli bulldozers first targeted the house of Mr. Ali Musa which is inhabited by 10 people. The house is 150 square meters area and has been targeted for the fourth time on row by the Israeli bulldozers under the pretext of un-licensing. The house was built in late 2010 after it was demolished for the third time back on April 10, 2010. For more information, click here

In an interview with Mr. Ali’s son, he stated that his father filed to the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to issue a building permit to be able to build a house for him and the family; Mr. Musa even provided the ICA with the necessary documents (as requested by the Israeli ICA). His request was rejected by the ICA for not fulfilling the Israeli conditions (as stated by the ICA). Due to the difficult living conditions Mr. Ali faces[1] and his urgent need to build a house, he was forced to build the house without an authorization from the ICA. See Photo 1 & 2


Photo 1 & 2: the house of Mr. Ali Musa targeted by the Israeli bulldozers


In contrast, a new Israeli outpost, named Hananiya, was  established on lands of Al Khader town, on a mountain that overlooks the house of Mr. Ali Musa. The outpost, and within a very short period of time, was provided with the basic services (water and electricity networks) to consolidate its existence in the area. The Israeli occupation Authorities also allowed for the construction of a road that links the aforementioned Israeli outpost with the Israeli bypass road No. 60. See Photo 3 & Photo 4


Photo 3 & Photo 4: the Hananiya outpost

See Photo 5

Photo 5: the dirt road that was constructed to link Hananiya outpost with the Israeli bypass Road 60

Note that Hananiya outpost was established in June 2002 when an Israeli settler called Hananiya (the outpost was named after him) set a couple of caravans in a place called 'Ein El Qassis located to the north of Neve Daniyyel settlement. Over the years, the settler exerted pressure on Al khader landowners of the nearby agricultural lands to sell him their land by offering them considerable prices. Landowners refused his offers and were exposed to many harassments since that time presented in destroying field crops and uprooting of their fruitful trees nearby.

The second targeted house is owned by Mr. Ismaeil Mahmoud Ahmad Musa and is inhabited by 10 family members (including Mr. Ismaeil and his wife). The house was demolished for the first time and under the same aforementioned pretext. See Photos 6-8


 Photos 6-8: the demolished house of Mr. Ismaeil Mahmoud Ahmad Musa

The Israeli bulldozers also demolished a water cistern built in 2010 under the pretext of un-licensing. The cistern was designed to store up to 190 MCM of water. Israel’s targeting of the water cistern aims at uprooting the Palestinian presence in the area by depriving them the basic services and eventually, force them to leave, so that Israel can control the land and implement its colonial plans. See Photo 9


Photo 9: the demolished cistern in Al Khader town


On the other side,  Israel constructed the Segregation Wall on land of Al Khader town and parallel to the Israeli bypass road No. 60 under the pretext of providing security and stability to Israeli settlements in the area and to the settlers living in these settlements who use the aforementioned bypass road (Bypass Road No. 60).  See Photo 10 

Photo 10: part of the Israeli Segregation Wall on lands of Al Khader town


However, the Israeli allegations showed contradiction with what Israel plans to implement on the ground, as the Israeli plans show that Israel wants to annex the Gush Etzion settlement bloc which includes 11 settlements to its illegal border upon wall completion, and prevent Palestinians from using the Israeli bypass road No. 60.

To conclude,

Israel is exploiting the current situation to mobilize the public opinion of the need to dismantle the Palestinian unity government and put pressure on the Palestinian people through the exercise of all methods of intimidation, harassment and destruction and closures. Yet, these Israeli methods go beyond obvious, which is to implement a list of settlement plans in the area, and to complete the construction of the Segregation wall; which in turn, will cause the confiscation of Palestinian land, at the same time, it will deprive Palestinians their land and rights, and will prevent the Palestinian urban expansion in the territory that is in addition to the fragmentation and isolation of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.


[1] Mr, Ali used to live in a rented apartment in Al Khader town. He suffers from Diabetes and had to quit his work, as a construction worker due to his health condition, and became unable to pay the house rent. Note that Mr. Musa desperately waited for the issuance of a building permit, which at the end (after several years)  was rejected by the ICA. 





Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition