[News] Israel fast-tracks expulsions of Palestinian communities

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 9 17:45:37 EST 2018


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-fast-tracks-expulsions-palestinian-communities 



  Israel fast-tracks expulsions of Palestinian communities

Tamara Nassar <https://electronicintifada.net/people/tamara-nassar> - 9 
January 2018

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Israel forcibly displaced more than 650 Palestinians in the occupied 
West Bank in 2017 by demolishing their homes.

In total, occupation forces destroyed 400 structures in the West Bank, 
according 
<https://www.ochaopt.org/sites/default/files/2017_hrp_draft5_20_12_2017_v2.pdf> 
to UN figures.

More than 100 of the demolished structures had been funded by 
international donors. Another 12,500 are under threat from pending 
Israeli demolitions orders.

Israel systematically denies Palestinians under military occupation in 
the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, permission to build on their 
own land.

Much of its destruction has targeted communities in Area C 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/area-c>, the roughly 60 percent of 
the West Bank that remains under full Israeli military control under the 
terms of the Oslo accords 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/oslo-accords> signed between Israel 
and the Palestine Liberation Organization 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/palestine-liberation-organization> 
in the early 1990s.


    Israel drops legal pretense

Palestinians are forced to build without permits and live in constant 
fear that their homes will be demolished. Israeli politicians are 
increasingly calling for the permanent annexation of Area C, which would 
leave the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank corralled into tiny 
islands of territory.

Although 2016 marked a record year 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/israeli-home-demolitions-break-records-shatter-lives-2016> 
for Israel’s demolitions, – almost 1,100 structures were destroyed 
displacing 1,600 Palestinians – Israel began in 2017 bypassing legal 
formalities in order to expedite the expulsion of Palestinians.

“It seems that Israel is so confident in its ability to expel entire 
villages without incurring judicial or international criticism that it 
is no longer bothering to create even the illusion of legal 
proceedings,” according 
<https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20171123_israel_no_longer_bothers_with_legal_proceedings> 
to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/btselem>.


    Fast-track expulsion

Previously Israel would issue military orders requiring specific 
building plans and had protracted procedures including “precise mapping 
of the land and buildings, as well as the issuing of separate demolition 
orders for each building,” B’Tselem states.

But in the last year, Israel began relying on a military order 
concerning “unauthorized buildings” to carry out quick expulsions of 
Palestinians. That order had originally been intended for the eviction 
of settlers from settlement outposts 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/settlement-outposts> established 
without Israeli permission, although it was rarely ever used for that 
purpose, according to B’Tselem.

While Israel distinguishes between “unauthorized” and “authorized” 
settlements – and often retroactively converts the former into the 
latter – all of its settlements are illegal under international law.

By using this order, Israel targets entire communities for forced 
removal without bothering to issue specific demolition orders for each 
building.

This order was never previously used on Palestinians.

Now, communities threatened with expulsion by Israel view this as a 
continuation of the Nakba <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/nakba> – 
the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist 
militias in 1948.

B’Tselem says that it is “virtually unprecedented since 1967” – the year 
Israel occupied the West Bank – for entire communities to be demolished.

In September, the human rights group warned 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-planning-war-crime-against-khan-al-ahmar-families> 
that Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could 
be personally liable for war crimes if they proceed with the planned 
demolitions of two such communities, Khan al-Ahmar 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/khan-al-ahmar> and Susiya 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/susiya>, to make way for Israeli 
settlements.

According to the UN, the number of demolitions and seizures of 
Palestinian structures in 2017 in Area C was 265 to the end of November, 
compared with almost 900 for all of 2016.

“However, obtaining construction permits remains nearly impossible as a 
result of a restrictive and discriminatory planning regime,” according 
to UN humanitarian coordination agency OCHA.

Susiya’s 340 residents have been living under constant threats of 
expulsion for years 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/susiya-village-brink-destruction-israel>, 
fighting many legal battles with Israel to remain on the land they’ve 
been on since the 1800s.


    Rare intervention

In November, Israel renewed 
<https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779525> its demolition order 
against the Area C village, announcing that it could destroy about a 
fifth of Susiya’s structures within weeks.

That prompted a rare intervention 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-f-brown/us-senators-cautiously-challenge-ethnic-cleansing-israel> 
from 10 US senators who wrote to Netanyahu urging him “not to demolish 
the Palestinian village of Susiya and the Bedouin community of Khan 
al-Ahmar.”

Khan al-Ahmar <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/khan-al-ahmar>, also 
in Area C, lies between the Israeli settlements of Maaleh Adumim 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/maaleh-adumim> and Kfar Adumim 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/kfar-adumim> in the so-called E1 
area <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/e1> of the West Bank.

The E1 area is targeted by Israel for expansion of its mega-settlement 
of Maaleh Adumim <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/maaleh-adumim>, 
which would complete the encirclement of Jerusalem and isolate the 
northern and southern parts of the West Bank from each other.

Israel issued evacuation orders to Khan al-Ahmar 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-planning-war-crime-against-khan-al-ahmar-families> 
multiple times in the past year, prompting strong condemnation from 
human rights groups.

Khan al-Ahmar is home to approximately 175 members of the Jahalin tribe 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/jahalin-bedouin>. Israel is 
threatening to destroy its only school 
<http://www.btselem.org/communities_facing_expulsion/khan_al_ahmar>.

In addition, Israeli forces harass residents by confiscating building 
materials <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcXiV_ZRfJo>.

In November, Israel also ordered 
<https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20171123_israel_no_longer_bothers_with_legal_proceedings&sa=D&ust=1515443557884000&usg=AFQjCNFgeE7Us61zigj_jiJ6PeYhTPm11A> 
all 300 residents of the Jabal al-Baba 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/jabal-al-baba> community, also in 
E1, out of their homes within eight days.

Villagers are refusing to comply and have held protests against their 
expulsion 
<https://972mag.com/palestinians-in-jabal-al-baba-protest-israeli-expulsion-order/130916/>.

The Jabal al-Baba community was originally in the southern Naqab (Negev) 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/negev-naqab> region, before its 
members were forcibly displaced 
<https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.823358> to their present 
location near Jerusalem.

Khan al-Ahmar and Jabal al-Baba are two of 12 Palestinian communities, 
with a total of about 1,400 residents in the area east of Jerusalem 
which face Israeli expulsion.

Israeli forces also issued expulsion orders to the communities of Ein 
al-Hilweh <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ein-al-hilweh> and Umm 
Jamal <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/umm-jamal> in the northern 
Jordan Valley <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/jordan-valley> on 9 
November, giving residents eight days to evacuate.

There are over 20 families in the northern Jordan Valley area who face 
expulsion.

One reason Israel gets away with these expulsions is that the 
international donors that fund the schools and other facilities Israel 
is destroying have done nothing to hold it accountable 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/eu-lets-israel-destroy-west-bank-schools-it-funded>.


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