On 4 July 2018, the ICA and the IOF demolished a further 13 properties in Abu Nuwar. According to the residents of the community, the Civil Administration did not notify the residents of the demolition -- it was sudden, and the residents were not allowed to remove their furniture from the houses. Inhabitants of these demolished houses have no alternative housing and are now living with their relatives in the community.
Imad Muhammad Jahalin, a resident of the community, who lost his house and his barn, told Al-Haq:
“On the same day of the demolition in the morning, we received a call from a resident of the Khan Al-Ahmar community, informing us that a large number of IOF accompanied by a bulldozer, had raided their community based on a ruling issued by the High Court of Justice to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar, to implement the E1 plan, which aims to evict the Bedouin communities in the area to expand the settlements and connect them to West Jerusalem. We immediately went to the Khan Al-Ahmar community to stand against the bulldozer and prevent them from demolishing. Meanwhile, the IOF took advantage of our absence from our community, raided it and demolished nine houses and four sheep barns.”
According to Daoud Bisisat, a spokesman for the community:
“The Civil Administration raids the community almost daily and takes photos of houses and sheep barns and also uses a drone to take photos. There is a plan to build about 1,500 new settlement units here at the Abu Nuwar community in what is known as the E1 colonial plan, which aims to expand the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. All of these measures and the ongoing incursions by the occupation forces into the community lead to the intimidation and fear in the children, as well as constant harassment to force us to leave our community.
These recent demolitions in Abu Nuwar are acts of forcible transfer, deliberately inflicted on the community as part of an ongoing Israeli policy and plan to create coercive environments to evict the inhabitants of Bedouin communities east of Jerusalem for the colonization and annexation of the ‘E1’ area.
Under international humanitarian law, the extensive destruction of property is prohibited unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Demolitions outside of military operations and not constituting military necessity amount to a violation of Article 46 of the Hague Regulations and a war crime prosecutable at the International Criminal Court. Further, the forcible transfer of civilians in occupied territory, is a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions (1949), represents a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime and crime against humanity prosecutable at the International Criminal Court.
The demolitions also violate International Human Rights Law, in particular, the obligation on the belligerent occupant to ensure adequate housing, enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (to which Israel is a signatory). Furthermore, Article 17(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property”.
Al-Haq calls on the State of Israel to comply with its international human rights and humanitarian law obligations in the OPT. In light of Israel’s targeting of vulnerable Palestinian communities in Area C, Al-Haq calls on the international community to intervene immediately and use all available resources to ensure that Palestinian communities are protected from forcible displacement and Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity.