Israel’s Raging Pace of House Demolitions Throughout the West Bank

30 September 2016

On August 9, the Palestinian village of Um Al Kheir in the South Hebron Hills have been targeting by the Israeli Civil Administration, which conducted the demolition of five homes. Early in the morning, the IDF invaded and surrounded the village and started the demolishing operation, which included 3 houses donated by the European Union. In total, the operation left 27 Palestinians homeless including 16 children. Moreover, according to witnesses, during the process of razing the homes, the IDF beat up and detained a Palestinian old man.HD

Unfortunately, it is not the first time that the village of Um Al Kheir has been targeted and attacked by the IDF and these repeated demolishing operations has put the villagers in an extreme state of poverty. Previous to the attacks, the villagers were already leaving without being connected to the water and electric network and in addition, they are lacking of the minimum infrastructures to have a decent life, such as a clinic or a school for instance. They are just simple people, who are trying to live a modest life and to sustain economically by working their land and without causing any security treat.

The demolition occurring in the village of Um Al Kheir is unfortunately not new in the West Bank and according to many international NGOs, the civil administration has speed up its reckless operation since the beginning of 2016. Indeed, it is estimated that since January to the end of June 2016, Israel has demolished 168 homes in the West Bank, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless, which includes 384 minors. In six months, the occupier has already razed more houses than it did the entire previous year (2015), during which it bulldozed 125 homes and 496 Palestinians lost their roof, including 287 minors. The acceleration of demolitions is literally insane as well as a deliberate policy by Israel to plunge the people of the Occupied the Territories in more misery.Although the demolition of the houses of Um Al Kheir has attracted some media coverage, especially by pointing out that the houses were funding by the European Union, the international community failed to make Israel accountable for its crimes, which are in violation of international laws.HD-II

The policies of home demolitions have put thousand of people at risk over the years and the IDF didn’t content itself to attack private homes but also infrastructure systems such as water pipes, power cables or wells, in other words, anything that will improve the life of Palestinians. Ironically, the Israel authorities have even demolished Palestinians infrastructures, for which, they gave a previous agreement. As we can see, the IDF logic is difficult to grasp but this is not surprising.

The violation of the international conventions and human rights from Israel seems to go on in full impunity and it seems that the Europe Union didn’t mind to see their humanitarian projects raze to the ground. The voices against these deliberate demolitions are too shy and by its silence, the European Union is becoming the accomplice of Israel in its repressive policies.

The silence of the European Union member states is baffling, because they are well aware of the situation since many years. Indeed, in 2012, two members of the European parliament released a report, which detailed the destruction of European funded project by the Israeli military between May 2001 and October 2011. In total 82 projects were destroyed for a loss of €49.2 million. It is time for the European Union to take a strong stand against the Israeli policy and ask reparations or adopt economical sanctions against Israel. Expressing discontent with Israel is one step in the right direction but as Ernesto Guevara once said: “words that do not match deeds are unimportant”.

Please read the “Squandered Aid” report by the Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights:…/reports/SquanderedAid_En.pdfHD-III