Halt of construction orders in Al Khader village in the Bethlehem Governorate

Halt of construction orders in Al Khader village in the Bethlehem Governorate

On the 28th of November 2016, the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) notified six Palestinian families in Al Khader village in Bethlehem Governorate with military orders to halt the construction of their structures. The notified owners were Fatima Salah, Nader Salah, Ibrahim Salah, ‘Abdellah Salah, Maher Salah and Ibrahim As-Sir.  The Military Orders, affected families, and structures are listed in table 1.

Table 1: Details of the halt of construction orders handed out to Families in Al Khader Village 

Military Order No.


Type of structure

Area sq meter

Established Date


Ibrahim As Sir

A two-story house




Nader Salah

A two-story house




Ibrahim Salah

One story house




Abdellah Salah

One story house




Maher Salah

One story house




Fatima Salah

Construction site



Source: Based on military orders and data collected from field surveys


The pretext for halting construction of the structures located in Area C was the lack of building permits from the Israeli Civil Administration. The halt-of-construction orders received by the six families in Al Khader village state that the existing structures were built/installed in violation of the fourth chapter of the Israeli City, Village, and Building Planning Law no. 79 of 1966 which was amended after the 1967 war by the Israeli Occupation Authorities on the basis of Military order No. 418 to comply with Israel's interests and settlement plans in the occupied Palestinian territory. 

The Israeli Civil Administration gave the threatened families till the 10th of December 2016 to proceed with license procedures. However, the orders also pointed out that pursuing license procedures does not guarantee Palestinians a license by the Israeli civil administration. Moreover, this does not also guarantee the possible demolition of these structures during that time. A copy of the military orders are annexed.

Israel's actions in the oPt are in direct violation of numerous United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions.  In particular, UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) calls for 'the withdrawal of all Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied' in the 1967 war;

In addition, as an occupying power, Israel is bound by the application of international humanitarian law.  The home demolition policy, however, violates the most basic tenets of the international legal regime. 

The demolition of Palestinian homes is explicitly outlawed by The Hague Conventions of 1907. Convention IV, Article 23 (G) clearly states that the occupying power is forbidden “to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 

The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 also clearly prohibits the destruction of Palestinian homes.  Article 53 of the Convention states: ''Any destruction by the Occupying power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or other public authorities or social or cooperative organizations is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.'' Such policies target the civilian population of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and thus cannot be excused on the basis of military necessity.



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Military Orders