Forced out and knocked down: house demolitions to hit the West Bank
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Forced out and knocked down: house demolitions to hit the West Bank

A wave of house demolition orders has been distributed across the West Bank. The houses threatened are being issued the orders on the pretext that they are in Area C, in which Palestinians are not allowed to build. Inhabited and under-construction homes, storage structures and other infrastructure face destruction in the districts of Salfit, Hebron and Qalqilya.

In Derbalut in the Salfit region, ten houses are threatened, most of them barely built or still under construction. In the home belonging to Saleh Hussein Saleh, however, four inhabitants face losing their home.

In Idnah, west Hebron, seven homes and commercial structures are threatened by the bulldozers. Almost all of the houses are inhabited, some by large families. The recent wave of demolition warnings means that Idnah will have been issued with thirty-four such orders in the last two years.

Meanwhile, in ‘Azzun ‘Atma, Qalqiliya district, residents have received demolition orders on their extensions, as well as threats to crucial agricultural water tanks and storage sheds. All of the threatened structures in ‘Azzun ‘Atma are close to Sha’rei Tikva, an adjacent settlement. Fenced off by the Wall into an inaccessible ghetto, and without realistic access to building permits, ‘Azzun ‘Atma’s residents are effectively forced to build “illegally”, often in area C. Dozens of structures have been served with demolition orders since the construction of the Wall, many of them family homes, and among them a school’s toilet, located just inside area C.

Bedouin communities in southern Arab Ramadin continue to struggle against eviction. Over a year on from the Occupation authorities threat to evict the entire village, soldiers and settlers continue to try to convince the community to move. The residents, in possession of legal documents proving their ownership of the land, have thus far refused. It is unclear how much longer southern ‘Arab Ramadin will be able to remain, as with or without papers isolated communities face legalised brute force and court-sanctioned ethnic cleansing. More than 24,000 homes have been demolished in the West Bank since 1967, almost half of them after the beginning of the construction of the Wall in 2002.