Land Leveling In Beit Sahour City to fortify Ush Ghrab Military Base

Land Leveling In Beit Sahour City to fortify Ush Ghrab Military Base


On December 29, 2015, the Israeli Army bulldozers stationed in “Ush Ghrab” Israeli military camp east of the city of Beit Sahour and start leveling the land and installing cement blocks to fortify the military base and its surroundings. See the pictures below:


Pictures for the land leveling captured by ARIJ fieldworkers


It is worth to mention that on April 8, 2008, the Israeli Haaretz Daily newspaper published that a group of the Israeli right wing activists called 'Developing Har Shamuel Settlement' along with settlers of the Gush Etzion regional council are planning to establish a new Israeli outpost on remains of an evacuated Israeli military base east of Beit Sahour. The settlers and activists marched towards the site in an attempt to prevent the Israeli Army from demolishing the remaining barracks that are still standing there under the pretext that the Israeli Civil Administration any should authorize any demolition process.


Ush Ghrab Site in Beit Sahour

The area were the Israeli military base existed is locally known as Ush Ghrab (Shdemah as the Israeli Army called it). It lies to the east of Beit Sahour city, on a mountainous area stretching over tens of dunums of open spaces. The site is bordered from three directions (south, west and north) by Palestinian built-up area, while it is bordered by Za'tara bypass road from the east. The site was used by several administrations before it was occupied by the Israeli Army in 1967 as headquarter for the British Mandate troops and later on by the Jordanian Forces. However, the area that defines of the Israeli military base today is much larger than it used to be before 1967; as the Israeli forces confiscated more Palestinian lands throughout the years of occupation to increase the area of the military base. 

Following the eruption of second Intifada in September 2000, the camp was the launching point of repeated attacks against Palestinians and properties in the city of Beit Sahour. See the map below:


Map for Ush Ghrab Area east of the city of Beit Sahour


On the other hand and on  April 27, 2006, and in a surprising unilateral move, the Israeli Occupation Forces evacuated the base. Heavy equipment’s existed at the site were moved to another Israeli Military base located southeast of Beit Sahour City called 'Herodion Base', in Al Furdeis area. However, the evacuated site was not handed over to the Palestinian site at that same time. 

Developing  of Ush Ghrab Area was Foiled by the Occupation

Soon after the Israeli withdrawal from Ush Ghrab area in 2006, the Municipality of Beit Sahour presented a plan to the Israeli Civil Administration in Bethlehem Governorate to reclaim the land to develop it with constructive and productive projects after it was long used to subjugate the people in the governorate. The area where the camp existed is located within Zone 'C' which under Oslo II agreements requires the Municipality to acquire authorization from the Israeli Civil Administration. Months later, the ICA granted the license to Beit Sahour Municipality to proceed with the projects, which include a hospital, Youth center, Public Park, Environmental Center, recreational center, cultural center in addition to Parking lot. These projects are planned to establish to utilize specified area of the targeted land as for the remaining area, it is set to remain under the Israeli Army’s control where no Palestinian construction is allowed.

Plan presented by Beit Sahour Municipality


Type of Construction

Area in Dunums





Nazereth Village



Youth Center



Public Park






Water Station



Environmental Center



Sport Center







Source: Beit Sahour Municipality




Prepared by  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem




Categories: Israeli Plans