Aseel Bseiso August 15, 2010 at 9:59am

Ninety-two people from the Palestinian village of Hmayyir, in the al-Farisiya area of the occupied West Bank, have had their homes demolished as the Israeli authorities continue with large-scale destruction there. On 5 August, 27 tents that people were living in and 10 other properties used for agricultural purposes were demolished. People are at risk across the West Bank.

Israel military officials returned to Hmayyir at around 7.30am on 5 August, using two bulldozers to flatten the area. The 27 tents destroyed were newly erected tents and had been donated to families by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Local Government as an emergency measure, after the Israeli army destroyed 74 properties, including family homes, on 19 July, affecting over 100 people, including 52 children. The destruction yesterday displaced a further 22 people, of whom 11 are children.

According to the latest figures from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 135 people in total were affected by the demolitions on 19 July and 5 August.

Hmayyir lies within the 60 per cent of the West Bank designated as “Area C”, which is completely under Israeli control; Palestinians living there face destruction of their property and severe restrictions on building .

The latest demolitions reflect an extremely worrying trend in the Israeli government’s apparent policy to increase the destruction of property. According to OCHA, 550 Palestinians have lost their homes or sources of livelihood in recent weeks. More than two thirds of demolitions carried out in 2010 occurred in July alone.

Between the beginning of the year and end of July, according to UN statistics, 230 structures were demolished, affecting 1,122 people, of whom 410 are children. Only two days ago, the Israeli army demolished two brick structures used for livestock in ‘Azzun ‘Atma, in Qalqiliya, on grounds the family did not have permission to build.

On 29 July, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern at Israel’s “frequent administrative demolition of property, homes, as well as schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…” and called on Israel to “review its housing policy and issuance of construction permits with a view to implementing the principle of non-discrimination regarding minorities, in particular Palestinians…”

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Hebrew, English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to place an immediate moratorium on house demolitions and forced evictions in the West Bank and to “review its housing policy and issuance of construction permits” in accordance with the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations;

Condemning the demolition of the homes in al-Farisiya and urging them to cease further destruction;

Calling for responsibility for planning and building regulations in the Jordan Valley to be placed solely with the local Palestinian communities.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 10 SEPTEMBER 2010 TO:

Minister of Defence
Ehud Barak
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940/696 2757
Email: minister@mod.gov.il

Salutation: Dear Minister

Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
6 David Elazar Street
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526/608 0366
Email: avimn@idf.gov.il

Salutation: Judge Advocate General