Diakonia - People change the world

Waves of Demolitions

A case study from the IHL Resource Centre report "Planning to Fail", The Planning Regime in Area C of the West Bank: An International Law Perspective. September 2013

Al Farisiya residents suffer multiples waves of demolitions

The Palestinian village of Al Farisiya is located in the Jordan valley, in an area under full Israeli military control. The community of 47 households is identified as one of the poorest in the area and half of the residents are children. In 2010, the community suffered three waves of demolitions over the course of two months. These included demolitions of water and sanitation-related infrastructure, some of which was supported through international humanitarian aid.

On 19 July 2010, 79 structures in the village were demolished, forcing families into further impoverishment after years of harassment. structures destroyed included homes, stables, storage sheds and over a dozen sanitary units, as well as water tanks and irrigation lines vital to the survival of crops and the livelihood of the community. some of these had been donated by Oxfam in response to the severe summer

Local woman (Carime) in front of her drought and food scarcity. Trees and two tons of animal fodder, fertilizer and wheat were also destroyed. The estimated cost of the damage was approximately UsD 29,000 (NIs 111,270).

An initial emergency humanitarian response provided the residents with emergency fodder and tents and replaced the water tanks. But three weeks later, on 5 August 2010, the community suffered another round of demolitions. Twenty-three tents were demolished along with other livelihoods items, further displacing another 22 people, and badly affecting those who were trying to recover from the previous demolitions.

A few days later, three families from the Al Farisiya community demolished on their own four residential tents, two kitchen units and one toilet unit. The demolitions were carried out following the receipt of ‘eviction’ orders from the IDF claiming that the community is located in a closed military area.

Aref, the head of the village, has few doubts about why the community has experienced these recurrent demolitions. “I have lived here for 50 years surrounded by settlements. There are so many problems, mainly around water. The Israeli military and settlers confiscate our water sources to force us to leave but we own this land and can prove it.”

© Courtesy of eWAsh