Saplings and reservoirs are threatened with destruction under the pretext of preserving archaeology

Saplings and reservoirs are threatened with destruction under the pretext of preserving archaeology


  • Violation: Notices to destroy saplings and water tanks.
  • Location: Al-Zawiya town / Salfit Governorate.
  • Violation Date: 10/11/2020.
  • Perpetrator: Officer of Antiquities Affairs in the so-called Israeli Civil Administration.
  • Affected people: Citizen Salah Abdel-Latif Hussein Raddad.

Violation details:

On Tuesday morning, November 10, 2020, the so-called antiquities inspector of the Israeli Civil Administration stormed the “Khallet Al-Rumaila” area, located to the west of Al-Zawiya town in the Salfit governorate. This inspector issued four notices against a 1500-square-meter piece of land planted with saplings of almonds and guava, five years old, under the claim that the plot in question is classified as an antique area and it must be restored to its previous state under the pretext of preserving its archaeological character, according to the description of the occupation authorities. The occupation did not specify, through those notifications, a time limit for the implementation of the destruction notices. The land is owned by Salah Abd al-Latif Hussein Raddad, a resident of al-Zawiya.

Photos 1-4: Target land

The following table provides details on  the contents of the four issued notices

Name of affected person

# family members

Total land area in M2

Violation nature

Notice  number

Salah Abdulatif Hussein Radad



Removal of a metal fence of 110m long and 1.5m high


Removal of 5 plastic water tanks of 1.25m3 each


Removal of 50 Almond & guava


Removal of building blocks intended for the construction of a residential room east of the plot


Previous assault:

It is worth noting that the occupation targeted this land on March 28, 2020, where an agricultural room made of bricks and tin with an area of 18 square meters was destroyed, in addition to the destruction of a 60 square meter cistern. Military Order number “1797”  whichallows the demolition/seizure of unlicensed structures deemed as “new”, within 96 hours after the issuance of a removal notice was used in this case.  This military order has been on hold since June 2018, pending a decision by Israel’s High Court on a petition filed by humanitarian partners.

Erection of a new wall gate:

It is noteworthy that these attacks coincide with the erection of a new military gate by the occupation army in the annexation and expansion wall, west of Al-Zawiya town, precisely to the west of the target land in the “Khallet Al-Rumaila” area, to increase the amount of harassment of Palestinian farmers by the occupation army.

Mr. Mahmoud Mawqdi, head of Al-Zawiya municipal council gave the following statement to LRC  researcher:

“The Khilat al-Rumaila area is one of the agricultural areas important to the town’s residents, and there are dozens of agricultural projects that farmers implement there, and the presence of this gate will help the occupation army to storm the area from time to time and chase farmers and harass  them.”

Photo 5: The newly erected wall gate

A glimpse on Al- Zawiya town[1]:

The town of Al-Zawiya is located in the western part of Salfit Governorate, specifically 17 km west of the city of Salfit, adjacent to the Green Line.  The total population in 2017 census was about 5230 people, and the total area of the town is 12,000 dunums, of which 693 dunums are built up areas. Most of the agricultural land in Al-Zawiya is planted with olive trees, cactus and figs. There are 3 main families in Al-Zawiya town: Shuqair, Mawqdi, and Radad, where these families constitute 95% of the total population, and the remaining 5% are small families of refugee origin, most notably the Rabi family.

Al-Zawiya town is considered one of the Palestinian towns that has witnessed  an organized campaign by the Israeli occupation authorities. It has lost  about 1747 dunums of land for the  Israeli settlement and for the construction of the apartheid wall as follows:

  • 630 dunums have been confiscated for the benefit of the Israeli colonies, as two settlements were built on the town’s lands, that are, “MitzorAtika” colony established in 1986 on 573 dunums of land ; and, and the  colony “Alkana”  established in 1977 a 57 dunums of land. Nowadays,  more than   3050 settlers illegally live in these two colonies.
  • 520dunums were confiscated for the benefit of Bypass Road No.5;
  • 597 dunums were used for the construction of the apartheid wall in in 2003, and another 4228 dunums were isolated behind the wall;

[1] Source: Geographical Information Systems Unit – Land Research Center.


Prepared by

 The Land Research Center


Categories: Military Orders