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30 Electricity Poles Demolished in Um Sadra, Hebron
- [4-10 May] - Ref.: 48/2015
14، May 2015

Al-haq-Danish-AwardAwrdOn 7 May 2015, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) bulldozed 30 electrical poles that supply the small town of Um Sadra with electricity. Two hundred Palestinians reside in Um Sadra, which is located south of Al-Ramadin town, southwest of Hebron.

'Amer Jafal Zagharnah - Um Sadra - Hebron

The residents of Um Sadra are mostly refugees from within the Green Line, similar to those in Al-Ramadin area. Um Sadra is located beyond the structural plan of Al-Ramadin and is classified as Area C. In 2006, the Israeli forces constructed the Annexation Wall, in the form of barbed wires, surrounding Um Sadra from the south and west, and cutting through approximately 100 dunums of the village. In 2008, Um Sadra was supplied with electricity by the Southern Electricity Company by constructing 70 electricity poles.

On 12 March 2010, the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) left a stop-construction order near the electricity network. On the same day, five houses in Um Sadra received similar notices to stop construction on their houses. The residents of the area hired a lawyer to follow up on the issue with the ICA. The case is still pending and no final decision has been made with regards to the electricity network or the houses.

On Thursday 7 May 2015, two Israeli military jeeps along with three ICA vehicles and two JCB bulldozers arrived to Um Sadra. Israeli soldiers spread in the area as the two bulldozers knocked down the electricity poles. Young residents from the area protested by throwing stones at the IOF who retaliated by firing tear gas and sound canisters. The soldiers arrested one resident, Muhib Salim Zagharnah, 17. The forces left Um Sadra at approximately 12:00 pm, after they demolished 30 electricity poles.

The residents immediately contacted the lawyer who is following up on the case and he confirmed that the ICA did not issue an order to demolish the electricity network there. On the same night, the Southern Electricity Company reconnected the town with electricity using the remaining undamaged electricity cables. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10661/2015)

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights state that everyone is entitled to an adequate standard of living in order to sustain their well-being, including housing and "the continuous improvement of living conditions”. As an Occupying Power, Israel has an obligation to ensure that the basic needs of the population under its effective control are met. Further Israel’s creation of harsh conditions, including through the destruction of electricity poles in Um Sadra along with house demolition orders, may result in the forcible transfer of the community. Forcible transfer is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.