On Thursday, A Palestinian man, Abdul Mahdi Abu Aisha, was overwhelmed by a large Israeli military force that invaded his carpentry workshop in the Naseeruddin Building, in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank before the soldiers informed him that he must evacuate the building by May 9, 2023, or else be forced out and face legal and financial ramifications.

Local sources said the soldiers confiscated the workshop’s keys and informed the Palestinian that he must remove all the machines from the building and evacuate it by May 9, 2023, at the latest, or be forced out.

Emad Hamdam, the director of the Hebron Reconstruction Committee, said that what is happening indicates that the Israeli occupation army and its government have officially started the implementation of the plan announced at the beginning of this year, aiming at the illegal confiscation of seizure of 70 Palestinian buildings in Hebron’s Old City to be handed over to the illegal colonizers.

Hamdan added that invading the Naseeruddin building is just the first step in the illegal confiscation of buildings and shops utilized by the local Palestinians under protected legal contracts.

Hamdan stated that this is a serious violation of all international and local laws that affirm the citizens’ right to safe housing and provide legal protection from harassment or forced eviction, adding that this arbitrary step is very alarming as it foreshadows a disaster in the Old City since this violation impacts all aspects and aspects of social, security and economic lives of the Palestinians, especially since this building is located in one of the most vital locations in Hebron.

The targeted building is the main entrance to the Old City, right across from an illegal colonialist outpost installed in the illegally confiscated Osama Bin Monqith School, and is on the street leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque and its historic popular markets and neighborhoods.

Hamdan voiced an urgent appeal to the International Community, legal and human rights groups, cultural and historic organizations around the world, the United Nations, and the Security Council to protect the Palestinian homes and buildings in Hebron, especially since it is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list and should be protected.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.