Israeli demolition campaign targeting Palestinian homes and structures in the village of Nahalin southwest of Bethlehem city

Israeli demolition campaign targeting Palestinian homes and structures in the village of Nahalin southwest of Bethlehem city


As part of the Israeli demolition campaign targeting Palestinian homes and structures in the area classified “C” in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli so-called “Civil Administration”,  escorted by the Israeli Occupation Army (IOA) raided the village of Nahhalin southwest of Bethlehem city in the southern  occupied West Bank on the 13th of March 2018, and handed halt-of-construction notices to five Palestinian families in the village, ordering them to stop the construction at their homes and structures located in Sabeiha Al Fouqa and Wad An Nu’man area in the eastern side of Nahalin village under the pretext of lacking proper licensing documentation.

The targeted houses have  been identified belonging to Hisham Ahmad Najajra, Saher Adnan Najajra, Ahmad Yousef Najajra, Fares Mohammad Najajra and Ma’moun Issa Fannoun.  Owners of the threatened homes and structures were notified to stop the work at their homes and properties under the pretext of lacking building authorization from the Israeli Civil Administration due to their location in Area “C”, which according to Oslo II Interim agreement of 1995, Israel retains full and extensive control over the area, including over security, zoning and planning. The halt-of-construction orders 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. Below is a detailed description of the issued demolition orders in the aforementioned communities.

The Israeli Civil Administration gave Palestinian owners in the village of Nahalin till the 19 of March 2018 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 as stipulated in the Order or stop the possible demolition during that time. A copy of the military order and a detailed description of the military orders:-

Photos 1-3 : A copy of the Israeli military orders that were available


Map 1: Location of the targeted homes and structures


Demolition of Palestinian Homes verses Expansion of Israeli settlements

At the time Israel is targeting Palestinian homes and structures in the village of Nahalin under the pretext of unlicensed building, the Israeli occupation Authorities are sparing no efforts to expand the nearby Israeli settlements, which are sweeping over the lands of Nahhalin and disrupting the geographical contiguity of the Palestinian communities in the area. The nearby Neve Daniel settlement for example, has been expanding on the lands of Nahalin village ever since its establishment back in 1982. Today, the settlement occupies a total land area of 515 dunums and is home to –2718 settlers, (Israeli Ministry of Interior-2018).   

Additionally, over the years of the Israeli occupation, several Israeli plans were issued by the Israeli Land Authority and the Israeli ministry of Housing and Construction and the Israeli Civil Administration to expand the settlement. Table 1 below give details of the expansion plans in Neve Daniel settlement.

Table 1: Israeli expansion plans – Neve Daniel Settlements

Plan Number

Approval Date

Purpose of Plan

Photos attached

Area (Dunums)



Demarcation of land development area





Construction instructions for the Center for Public Buildings





Change of zoning for public buildings





235 Units





Change building lines





Change the rear building line





141 Units





Residential building





Consolidation of plots for residential purposes





Change building lines





A new residential Neighborhood





Land designated change – Public institutions








Israeli Ministry of Interior- 2018
Israeli Land Administration – 2018


To Conclude

The Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian houses built in area ‘C’ aims primarily at emptying the Palestinian population from these areas ‘C’ and voluntarily evacuating them, while at the same time, expanding and intensifying building of Illegal Israeli settlements and outposts.

Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.

Also Article 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention indicated that: Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, is a grave breach of the Convention.

Moreover, Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides: 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.



Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Military Orders