Forced evictions, demolitions and displacement in the West Bank in 2012

Publication date: 
Saturday, February 9, 2013

 

Forced evictions, demolition and displacement continued in 2012 throughout the West Bank at a rate similar to last year. In total, we recorded the demolition of over 600 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, including at least 189 residential structures. The demolitions were in many cases preceded by the forced eviction and subsequent displacement of 880 Palestinians, more than half of them (468) children, ranging from a few months old to 18. Another 4102 people were otherwise affected, for example due to demolitions of animal shelters, water cisterns and other structures related to their livelihood or because of the destruction of infrastructure, including roads. 

When compared with 2011, the number of structures demolished (604 vs. 613) and people affected (4102 vs. 4143) was similar to last year. In a positive development the number of people displaced, i.e. those that lost their home, decreased from 1094 to 886 or by roughly 19%. However, the number of structures demolished and people displaced remains significantly higher than in previous years, following a large increase in 2011, as indicated in the below.

 

 

 

In terms of location, most of the demolitions (540, or 89%) took place in vulnerable communities in Area C, displacing 809 people, including 441 children. These demolitions were in most cases carried out by the Civil Administration of the Israeli military, which takes responsibility for administering the occupied West Bank. The rest (64, or 11%) of the demolitions took place in East Jerusalem, displacing 71 people, including 27 children. Out of those, 15 were self-demolitions carried out by Palestinian families that had received demolition orders from Israeli authorities. The rest were carried out by different Israeli government bodies, including the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Nature and Park Authority. It is worth noting that in East Jerusalem, the number of demolitions increased from 42 to 64, representing a 52% increase, while the number of those affected rose from 203 to 411. However, the number of those displaced actually decreased slightly from 88 to 71 in 2012. 

 

In addition to demolitions, several hundred people were also displaced as a result of other factors, including evictions (excluding demolitions), settler violence and military training. 

 

 - In 2012 22 Palestinians were evicted, including 10 children, in 4 separate incidents involving the take-over of Palestinian property by settlers in East Jerusalem (in Beit Hanina, Ras al Ahmud, At Tur and Jabal al Mukabber). The evictions were carried out following protracted legal proceedings relating to dispute over property, with settler organizations claiming that they had purchased the Palestinian homes or the land where the homes were located. In addition to these cases, a Palestinian family of 5 people was displaced in the village of Al Khalayleh, when settlers set fire to their home while they were working in nearby fields


 - In 2012, 230 Palestinian families were displaced, mostly in the northern Jordan Valley, due to military training conducted by the Israeli military in and around their communities. This included over 8 separate incidents throughout the year, mostly notably in June, November and December. We do not have exact population figures, but given the number of affected families the number of people affected may be as higher than 1,000. Most of the families were able to return following the end of training. However, the families report significant fear and distress and, in some cases, damage to fields, cultivated areas and infrastructure in the communities.

 

Working Displacement Group (ICAHD is a part of WDG)