In the past two weeks, Al-Haq has documented two cases of humanitarian aid projects in Palestinian communities subject to confiscation and demolition orders by the Israeli authorities. Al-Haq is concerned about the increased frequency of these incidents, which are becoming a common practice.
Muhammad Binya Ka’abna
Muhammad, (69 years old), is a Palestinian Bedouin, who about five years ago, bought a land in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem governorate, to build a permanent residence to settle down with his family instead of moving from one place to another. While he was building the houses for him and his two sons, Mansour (29 years old) and Mousa (28 years old), the Israeli Civil Administration handed them a demolition order, which was implemented in November 2011. For a couple of months, 22 members of Muhammad’s family, including ten children, had to sleep outdoor with no shelter. Mansour and Mousa eventually had to leave their land and move to Bir Nabala and Kufr ‘Akab, Jerusalem governorate. In light of the difficult living conditions of Muhammad’s family, an international organisation offered to help them to install three mobile houses.
In late February 2012, the international organisation started installing the caravans 40 meters away from the place where the previous demolition occurred. Two days after the installation was completed in April 2012, a large Israeli military unit with officers from the Israeli Civil Administration came to the area and handed Mansour an order of house demolition. He was given three days to appeal against the demolition order.
Muhammad recalls that he contacted the international organisation, which provided him with two lawyers to file the appeal. Subsequently, Muhammad was given 14 extra days to remove the mobile houses or to apply for a house permit. The international organisation's plan was to move the houses to Muhammad’s brother’s land, which is 40 meters far from the caravans’ original location in order to buy more time to submit an application for a house permit.
On 7 June, at around 10:00 am, some officers from the Israeli Civil Administration with Israeli soldiers handed Muhammad an order to stop working in the area and a new order of house demolition to be implemented on 15 July 2012. However, on 9 July 2012, at about 12:30 am, a large force from the Israeli army accompanied with bulldozers and cranes, raided the new location and forced Muhammad’s family out of their house. In the meantime, several workers accompanying the Israeli soldiers were taking the furniture out. From a place nearby, Muhammad and his family members were watching the big machines taking their houses. After two hours, the Israeli soldiers left the area taking the caravans with them. The next day, Muhammad found an order of confiscation left in his scattered furniture. At the time of writing, Muhammad’s family is still living in tents. (Affidavit No. 7558/2012 and 7559/2012)