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OSHA: Demolitions in East Jerusalem periphery today first in 2011 in these areas

12:00 Oct 31 2011 Khan al-Ahmar and Al-Jabal

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United Nations: OSHA, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Displacement Working Group:

Today, Israeli forces carried out demolitions in two communities in the eastern Jerusalem periphery. The rubble from the destroyed properties was in both cases also removed from the site by the authorities. This is the first demolition in the area in 2011.

This could be of importance given recent reports that the Israeli Civil Administration plans to ‘relocate’ Bedouin communities in the eastern Jerusalem periphery to al-Jabal area next to the Jerusalem landfill. The communities have been informed by the Israeli authorities that they have no option but to leave the area, as part of a larger plan to relocate Bedouin communities living in Area C, where Israel retains control over security as well as planning and zoning. Reports indicate that this plan may begin as early as January 2012. At this stage, most of the communities have indicated that they are against the proposed plan.

The number of people displaced and affected by today’s demolitions needs to be confirmed, pending access to one of the demolition sites, but the total number of people forcibly displaced due to demolitions (884) and settler violence (139) has surpassed the 1,000 mark.

Khan al-Ahmar –Mihtawish: Three residential structures (one uninhabited) and one animal pen belonging to three Bedouin Palestinian households were demolished allegedly for building without permits and using land in an area designated as a nature reserve. As a result, 29 people (21 children) lost their homes and nine people (five children) were affected. The owners received eviction orders on 3 October 2011, and final orders on 27 October 2011, but did not take any legal steps. Emergency residential assistance has been provided and an assessment to find a more sustainable solution will be carried out in the coming days.

Al-Jabal: Up to eight structures belonging to a refugee herding household were demolished. The structures are located on the edge of the area designated as the ‘relocation site’ for the 20 Bedouin communities living in the Maale Adummim municipal area. The owner received the final orders on 27 October and sought legal counseling. Initial orders issued on the same structures at the end of Ramadan were not acted on by the owner. No legal protection was sought at the time as the owner did not have financial resources for this. Access to the demolition site was not possible.
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