St. Yves Observes an Alarming Trend in Demolitions Israeli Authorities Demolish Eight Houses in S’eir/ Hebron

  • Date: 2016-08-17

The Israeli forces demolished 8 houses and 2 barns on the morning of Tuesday 16th of august 2016, belonging to the “Shaladah” family in “Joret al Kheil” area in S’eir, near the “Asfr” settlement. The demolition followed a rejection of an appeal presented to the district planning committee in Beit Eil without giving a postponement to petition to the Israeli Supreme Court.

House owners from Al Shaldah family approached the Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights requesting legal assistance two years ago after receiving stop work orders. Upon St. Yves’ intervention, the family requested building permits for the buildings under threat of demolition; however the Israeli “Civil Administration” rejected their applications shortly after their submission. Afterwards, an appeal was filed on behalf of these families in order to reconsider the decision to reject the building permits, where in most cases the “Civil Administration” takes between one and two years to respond after receiving the appeal. However, in this case, the appeal was rejected within one month of application (in July 2016), without informing St. Yves of the matter until Monday 15th of August, a few hours before the actual demolition took place.

St. Yves considers this step completely illegal under administrative and international laws, as it not only discriminately violates the very basic right to proper housing, it also aims to deliberately prevent Palestinians from their right to access “justice” and protect their houses. St. Yves believes that the Israeli Civil Administration is clearly targeting this area in particular.

It is important to note that these orders were received as part of many other demolition orders where postponements to demolition were given except for the orders issued for Al Shaladah family buildings.

In responding to this alarming trend, St. Yves urgently submitted a request to the Israeli Civil Administration’s Attorney general in the West Bank, as a prelude to petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court, emphasising the importance of protecting the right of Palestinians to proper legal access in particular after the “Civil Administration” rejects applications made by Palestinians. Also St. Yves stressed the importance of providing them reasonable demolition postponements to do so. This request aims at protecting hundreds of Palestinian houses and structures that are under threat of demolition in area (C) in particular in areas considered critical by Israeli authorities such as the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem periphery, military zones, and settlements.