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To: Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

End Home Demolitions in Um al-Khair!

(Note: This map shows the illegal Israeli settlement of Carmel, well developed neighborhood next to Um al-Khair. The red dots represent all the pending home demolitions in Um al-Khair. When taken together, it is obvious that this is an Israeli state sanctioned plan to drive the Hathaleen families off their lands in Um al-Khair to make room for further settlement expansion. This map was prepared by the Israeli zoning and planning rights organization Bimkom.)

The village of Um al-Khair is under threat of expulsion. On January 10, 2018, the Israeli Civil Administration issued another set of stop-work orders to the people of Um al-Khair. This orders will turn into home demolition orders. The villagers of Um al-Khair is asking for internationals to pressure their local governments to force Israel to halt and reverse the decision to demolish their homes.

End Home Demolitions NOW!

Contact Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and tell him to act to end the practice of home demolitions for Palestinian communities.

Call for your representative to push Israel to end this illegal and destructive practice . Contact your representatives by e-mail, twitter, or phone through the following site and make your voice heard!*

Why is this important?


Um al-Khair is a small Bedouin village located in Area C in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. Currently, 151 buildings in the village have demolition orders. Every building has already been demolished at least once and rebuilt by the community. According to the UN, there have been 20 home demolitions since 2011 that have displaced 154 people of which 103 were children. In total 32 buildings have been demolished since 2011 impacting 213 people.

The Hathaleen Bedouin tribe was forced off their lands in Tel Arad by Israeli militias during the creation of the State of Israel. As refugees, the Hathaleen tribe needed to settle and bought the land from the town of Yatta as per their land deed that they still have from 1965.

The illegal Israeli settlement of Carmel was established in 1981 after being deemed "state land" by the Israeli Civil Administration on Palestinian lands, surrounding the village of Um al-Khair. The settlement grew out of a military land seizure that has restricted the movement of Palestinians more and more ever since. The restrictions on land are set to increase in the coming years with the continued expansion of the settlement onto land used for shepherding and farming by the community.

Why are their houses being demolished?

Under the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was separated into three areas of jurisdiction: Area A, B, and C. Um al-Khair is located on Area C, which encompasses 61% of the West Bank. Area C is under full Israeli Civil and Security control. Permission to build on the land, therefore, must be granted by the Israeli Civil Administration. Building permits are few and far between for Palestinians in Area C. According to B’Tselem Israel has deemed 70% of Area C (42% of the West Bank) state land, survey land, firing zones, nature reserves, national parks, and settlements. They have continued preserving the separation wall that has annexed large swaths of Palestinian land behind the green line. Thus limiting the opportunity for development of Palestinians lands.

In addition, the odds of being granted a building permit on the other 30% of Area C is almost impossible. Between 2010 and 2014 only 33 out of 2,020 applicants(1.5%) were granted permits with only 1 of those occurring in 2014. This limitation of permits by the Israeli Civil Administration causes that many Palestinians must build without a permit, exposing them to the risk of stop work orders and demolitions.

Illegal Practices

These land seizures are illegal under international law. Both under Article 49, working with Article 2 and Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and under Article 12 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. Israel has ratified both the Geneva Conventions (though not Protocol I and II) as well as the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.
um al khair, Um al Kher

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2019-03-22 09:46:38 +0100

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