Israeli occupation forces demolish two residences in the Hebron town of Yatta on security claims

Israeli occupation forces demolish two residences in the Hebron town of Yatta on security claims


  • Violation: demolishing two residences and damaging four others
  • Date: August 04, 2016
  • Location: Yatta town- Hebron governorate
  • Perpetrators: Israeli Occupation Forces
  • Victims: citizens  Mousa and Ahmad Makhamreh


It is reported that a massive force accompanied by a military digger and a dozer raided the area of city center and Ruq'a from Yatta town, south Hebron governorate, demolished a house and detonated another one on the claim that the owners of those houses carried out an attack against colonists.

The first house was reported owned by citizen Mousa Makhamreh. The attacking force encircled the house located in the city center of Yatta and demolished the apartment founded in the second floor since it belongs to the citizen allegedly accused of carrying out an attack against colonists in July 2016.

The ten member family of Mousa lived in the second floor that is of 180m2 in area. The apartment is composed of four bedrooms, kitchen, guest room, and two bathrooms. The first floor is reported to be inhabited by the father of the affected, Ibrahim Makhamreh, and his nine member family including 6 children. After the second floor was fully demolished, Yatta Municipality rushed to clean the rubbles in order not for the first floor to be affected and damaged.

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Photos 1-5: signs of the demolition operation with a view of Yatta municipality machineries cleaning the rubbles of the second floor

The second house is reported owned by Ahmad Mousa Makhamrah. The attacking force  encircled the house at midnight and planted explosives in its walls. The detonated house was founded in the third floor and the explosion caused the first and second floor to crack.

According to the residents of the house, Israel Supreme Court issued a decision to demolish the third floor on the claim that the son of the owner carried out an attack against colonists. The family evacuated the third floor and moved the furniture to the first and second floors but the explosion eventually affected them badly.


Photos 6-8: sings of the detonated house and the damage that followed the first and second floors

The target house is reported to be of three floors that are detailed as follows:

  • First floor: it is of 200m2 and is home for Ahmad's 8 member family including 2 children
  • Second floor: it is composed of two apartments, one of which is inhabited by the son of the owner, Husam, and the other one was to be home for the brother Salim.
  • Third floor: it was the house of accused attacker Khaled Makhamrah.

Photo 9: sings of the shattered windows of nearby houses

Since Al-Aqsa uprising of 2015 until the date of this report, Israeli Occupation Forces demolished 44 residences, of which 19 were demolished in 2015 where the rest were demolished in 2016. Demolitions were carried out as a collective punishment on the families of attackers and prisoners. 228 persons including 79children were rendered homeless as a result. Closing and detonating houses also caused 54 residence to get partially damaged and uninhabitable.


The graph illustrates the number of demolished residences on the claim of "Security Purposes"
in West Bank and East Jerusalem since October 2015 until August 04, 2016


It should be marked that the order was issued in reference to the British Emergency Law for the year 1945, taking into consideration that this law was abolished. “Confiscation and demolition” according to article 119 of the law indicates that it is not allowed to re-construct in the demolition location. The body of the article is as follows:

Regulation 119 of the Defence (Emergency) Regulations, 1945


Regulation 119 – Forfeiture and demolition of property, etc. 119.

  (1) A Military Commander may by order direct the forfeiture to" the Government of Palestine of any house, structure, or land from which he has reason to suspect that any firearm has been illegally discharged, or any bomb, grenade or explosive or incendiary article illegally thrown, or of any house, structure or land situated in any area, town, village, quarter or street the inhabitants or some of the inhabitants of which he is satisfied have committed, or attempted to commit, or abetted the commission of, or been accessories after the fact to the commission of, any offence against these Regulations involving violence or intimidation or any Military Court offence ; and when any house, structure or land is forfeited as aforesaid, the Military Commander may destroy the house or the structure or anything on growing on the land.

 (2) Members of His Majesty's forces or of the Police Force," acting under the authority of the Military Commander may seize and occupy, without compensation, any property in any such area, town, village, quarter or street as is referred to in subregulation (1), after eviction without compensation, of the previous occupiers, if any.

Land Research Center LRC sees that demolitions contradict with all of the International conventions and Humanitarian laws including:

  1. Article 17 of the (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating: “Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”
  1. Section ‹G› of article 23 of the (1907) The Hague Conventions asserting: “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.”
  2. Article 53 of the Geneva Fourth Convention (1948) declaring: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”
  3. Section 1, Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966): “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent."

Land Research Center sees the vicious attack on Palestinian buildings  as a collective punishment against the families of martyrs and prisoners.  The occupation seeks to traumatize and humiliate Palestinian families through such practices.

The Israeli government claims such orders to be deterrent for Palestinians who carry out stabbing or killing attacks.  Such attacks come in response for colonists’ attacks on Palestinians, the latest of which was represented in torching a family alive, not mentioning running over kids and women,  attacks on trees (torching , cutting down, robbing) and lands confiscation.


Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition