Land Research Center - LRC

Israeli Occupation Forces demolish Palestinian residences in Tubas governorate


Violation: demolishing structures 

Location: Yarza hamlet 

Date:  February 08, 2021

Perpetrators: Planning and Construction Committee- Israel Civil Administration

Victims: two Palestinian families


It is reported that a force from the Israeli occupation military backed with the so-called inspector of Planning and Construction Committee- Israel Civil Administration raided on February 08, 2021 Yarza hamlet and carried out a demolition operation that rendered two residence completely demolished.  Reportedly, the first residence is 42m2 in area is and home for citizen Hafeth Masa’eed and his 8-member family (4 children), while the other residence is home (24m2) for citizen Rami Masa’eed who is a special need person with movement disability. Noteworthy, the demolished room is a mobile room donated from ACTED organization after the family became homeless due to a previous demolition attack.

In an inhumane manner, the occupation left the affected families in the open and cold while they banned them from extracting any of their belonging from the residences. Additionally, a full closure was imposed on the town since the early hours of morning until the demolition was completed before noon.

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Photos 1-4: signs of the demolition operation

It should be indicated the demolished residences were notified of “removal within 96-hour period” on January 24, 2021. Not only, another notice was delivered to the same residences on January 06, 2021, the notice came under the title of “halt destruction on antiquities”.

Before that, the houses were demolished on September 29, 2020 on the claim of “unlicensed construction”.

The affected citizen Hafeth Masa’eed told Land Research Center the following:

“The moment we received the notices from the occupation, we prepared legal files through the Legal Unit of Tubas Governorate. However, the occupation rejected our file, claiming that the area where the houses are located is considered “an archeological site”. As a result, we are now homeless”.

A glimpse on Khirbet Yarza:

Khirbet Yarza, located 10 km east of Tubas Governorate, specifically in the Baqi’a Plain region, is inhabited by about 12 families (100 citizens) who are remnants of their original inhabitants previously lived there in hundreds, and taking care of their lands which amounted to 25 thousand dunums, including, 283 dunums, classified under the name “root of the hamlet”, meaning an old inhabited area. It is indicated that 75% of Yarza lands have been registered in the Land Registry records since the Jordanian era, in the name of the Palestinian inhabitants who own the land, but as a result of the occupation’s continuous oppression and racist practices many people were forced to leave to other adjacent places or to the town of Tubas.

Khirbet Yarza is considered one of the “closed military” areas by the Israeli occupation forces. Its lands, totaling 25 thousand dunums, are used as fields for Israeli military exercises, due to the nature of the mountainous and wooded area. On the lands of Khirbet Yarza, there is a training camp for the occupation soldiers called Camp Cobra. There are, also, dozens of training venues spread around here and there, which pose a real threat to the lives of the Khirbat residents. As an inevitable consequence of the existence of these camps, the locals suffer from remnants of the military shells that the occupation forces leave behind, in addition to besieging the hamlet from all sides and preventing the access of the minimum level of life services.

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This Report Was Prepared as Part of Secure Palestinian Lands and Housing Rights project activities

The Contents of This Document are the responsibility of LRC and do Not Reflect positions of the European Union