In the Context of Forced Displacement Policy in Area ‘C’, Israeli Forces Demolish Residential Community Northeast of East Jerusalem Rendering 94 Palestinians, Including 69 Children, Homeless.In the context of a systematic policy to evacuate Area ‘C’ in the West Bank for the interest of settlement projects, on Monday, 31 August 2015, Israeli forces demolished ‘al-Khdeirat’ Bedouin community, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem near ‘Adam’ settlement, rendering eleven Bedouin families homeless.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 09:00 on Monday, 31 August 2015, Israeli forces, backed by military vehicles and accompanied by a force from the Construction and Organization Department in the Civil Administration and bulldozers, moved into al-Khdeirat Bedouin community near ‘Adam’ settlement overlooking Mekhmas village and ‘Sha’er Benyamin’ settlement, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
The Israeli bulldozers demolished a number of residential and livestock barracks (16 residential barracks and 7 livestock barracks) leaving 94 persons, including 69 children, homeless.
Israeli forces leveled the following:
1. A 50-square-meter residential barrack and another 40-square-meter one belonging to Mohammed ‘Ararah, whose family is comprised of 8 members, including 6 children;
2. A 50-square-meter residential barrack and 80-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Mohammed Mansour Saray’ah, whose family is comprised of 8 members, including 6 children;
3. Three 50-square-meter residential barracks and an 80-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Salem ‘Odah Soliman ‘Ara’arah, whose family is comprised of 13 members, including 9 children;
4. A 40-square-meter residential barrack and 120-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Salah ‘Ara’arah, whose family is comprised of 7 members, including 5 children;
5. A 50-square-meter residential barrack belonging to Fahmi ‘Arara, whose family comprises of 7 members, including 5 children;
6. A 50-square-meter residential barrack and a 70-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Ibrahim Ali Salem ‘Arara, whose family is comprised of 8 members, including 6 children;
7. A 42-square-meter residential barrack belonging to Ra’ed ‘Arara, whose family comprises of 8 members, including 6 children;
8. A 40-sqaure-meter residential barrack and 60-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Najeh ‘Arara, whose family comprises of 9 members, including 6 children;
9. A 40-square-meter residential barrack and 120-square-meter livestock barrack belonging to Ali Abed Salama Mlaihat, whose family comprises of 12 members, including 10 children;
10. A 40-square-meter residential barrack belonging to Khalil Abed Salam Mlaihat, whose family comprises of 12 members, including 10 children; and
11. A 30-square-meter residential barrack belonging to Abed Salam Mlaihat, whose family comprises of only 2 members.
It should be noted that al-Khdairat Bedouin community consists of 50 families counting 500 persons, the majority of whom are children.
This community was established 25 years ago. However, a year and a half ago, houses of some of the residents from the al-Hatheleen and al-Jahaleen families were demolished.
The community lacks water and electricity networks and students from the community attend schools of Jaba’ and al-Ram villages.
PCHR condemns this crime committed by Israeli forces against the abovementioned community and believes that it is part of the forcible displacement policy applied in Area (C) that is under full Israeli control according to 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
This policy is applied for the interest of settlement expansion projects, especially in the Jordan Valley as the Israeli government declared its plans to keep it under their control in case of any final political agreement with the Palestinian National Authority.
PCHR reminds the international community that Israeli forces violate the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, especially article 33 which prohibits collective punishment, and article (147) which considers extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly as a grave breach that mounts to a war crime according to article 85 of Additional Protocol 1.
Moreover, these crimes violate article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which provides that ‘the states parties recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing’.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action to stop the Israeli crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.