Self-demolition: A crime against humanity
The Israeli occupation forces a Palestinian to self-demolish his agricultural room in the Hebron village of Beit Kahil

Self-demolition: A crime against humanity<br> 
The Israeli occupation forces a Palestinian to self-demolish his agricultural room in the Hebron village of Beit Kahil


Violation: forcing a Hebron man to self-demolish his structure

Location:  Beit Kahil- Hebron city

Date:  04/08/2015

Perpetrators: Israel Civil Administration and army

Victims:  Citizen Iyad Mahfouz


The Israeli occupation authorities on August 04, 2015 compelled citizen Iyad Mahfouz to self-demolish a agricultural room founded on his plot in the area of Al-Lawlab, west Beti Kahil village in Hebron.

Mahfouz told a researcher from Land Research Center that a vehicle relative to Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by a patrol from the occupation army and two dozers arrived at his land at 6:00 in the morning. Due to the presence of trees and a water cistern, dozes couldn’t reach out for the room that was in the middle of the plot. Thus, the Israeli occupation authorities compelled the citizen to demolish the room by himself. If not compelled, Iyad was threatened of getting his water cistern demolished and his trees uprooted.

Therefore, the citizen was obliged to destroy his room by his own hands; the brothers and neighbors of Iyad came to give him a hand in carrying out the humiliating act.

Sings of the room’s rubbles


The officer of the Civil Administration told the citizen that he will come back to check whether or not the demolition is completed. The officer also phone called the citizen after midday and was assured of the demolition completion. Not only that, the officer promised to render a checkup visit on the location to verify the demolition.

It should be marked that the 40m2 room was built in 2011 on a one dunum plot to be a storehouse for agricultural equipments and tools. In 2014, citizen Iyad found a stop-work order left by his structure but he did not object to it in Israeli courts, believing that the Israeli occupation will never grant him a building permitlicense.

It should be also marked that the Israeli occupation authorities escalated the self-demolition violations in the areas of the West Bank. This is the fifth case of a kind since the beginning of 2015, three of which were recorded in Hebron (Land Research Center).

Self Demolition: A policy now applied in the West Ban

The policy of self-demolition started in Jerusalem and is now spreading all over the different areas of the West Bank. The affected people are forced to demolish their unlicensed structure by their own hands. The only reason Palestinians build without permits is that the Israeli occupation government never grants licenses at all.

“Humiliation is indeed to destroy your own house by your hands knowing that your family will be homeless” (Land Research Center).  What also forces people to do so is the financial fine that will be imposed on them in case they fail at carrying out the demolition; the Israeli occupation authorities come and demolish the structure where all the costs will be billed to the affected citizen

In Jerusalem the claim under which self-demolition occurs is that Jerusalemites are under the jurisdiction of Israeli civil law. Today, the Israeli government applies the same policy in the areas of the West Bank, which are classified as area C according to Oslo Accords, as if they are under the control of Israeli civil law.


Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition