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No Home, No Homeland Executive Summary

No Home, No Homeland Executive Summary

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Published by Itay Epshtain
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Published by: Itay Epshtain on Jan 19, 2012
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A New Normative Framework forExamining the Practice of AdministrativeHome Demolitions in East Jerusalem
No Home,No Homeland
This project is funded by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme
 
Te Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD) estimates that as o August 2011approximately 26,000 homes had been demolishedin the occupied Palestinian territories (OP),including East Jerusalem, since the start o theoccupation in June 1967. Te phenomenon o home demolitions can be divided into three maincategories: punitive, land-clearing/military, andadministrative demolitions. Punitive demolitionsinvolve the demolition o homes as punishment orthe actions o people associated with the homes,typically or acts which are deemed to threaten thesecurity o Israel and Israeli civilians and military personnel. Contrary to common perception, punitivedemolitions constitute less than 10 percent o homedemolitions carried out by the Israeli authorities.In February 2005 the Israel Deense Forces (IDF)suspended the practice; it was reinstated in January2009, but its use since has been limited.Land-clearing and military operations demolitionsinvolve the demolition o a home or structure during the course o military operations and in order toachieve a military objective, such as clearing a pieceo land to make way or military vehicles or othersuch purposes. Military operations demolitionsconstitute more than hal o the demolitions o Palestinian homes and typically have been carriedout in Gaza and the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem.Lastly, administrative home demolitions entail thedemolition o homes and structures built withoutIsraeli authorization. Since the Oslo Accords andthe division o the West Bank and Gaza into AreasA, B and C, the practice o administrative homedemolition has been limited(with ew exceptions) to Area C o the WestBank and East Jerusalem, where Israeli authoritieshave exclusive control over all planning, zoning and building activities. Administrative homedemolitions account or roughly 25 percent o alldemolitions, and in East Jerusalem they constitutethe overwhelming majority o home demolitions.Tis report ocuses on the specic set o laws, policies and practices applied to Palestinians inEast Jerusalem related to, and oen resulting in,administrative home demolitions. Administrativehome demolitions in East Jerusalem do not occur ina vacuum, and oen the most serious violations o Palestinian rights occur at earlier stages leading upto, or threatening, demolition – as well as in the lacko meaningul alternatives to unauthorized building risking demolition (such as leaving the area). Tesituation in East Jerusalem is also distinct in many ways rom that o the remainder o the OP, in thatIsrael has illegally annexed the territory and thereoreapplies its own domestic laws to the area in ull –rather than treating it as occupied territory and itsPalestinian residents as protected persons underapplicable international law. Tus, Israel applies adierent set o laws and policies to Palestinians inEast Jerusalem than to the remainder o the OP, which are explained and analyzed in this report vis-`a-vis its obligations under international humanrights law and international humanitarian law (thelaws o war and occupation). Furthermore, the ateo East Jerusalem will hold a critical role in anyresolution to the Israeli-Palestinian confict.East Jerusalem is currently home to approximately300,000 Palestinians. Since the June 1967 occupationand immediate annexation and incorporation o thearea now known as “East Jerusalem” into Israel, the various Jerusalem municipal governments, along  with the Ministryo Interior, have applied policies that aim, directlyand indirectly, to maintain a Jewish majority in thecity o Jerusalem. In certain cases, these demographicmotivations have been expressed explicitly by publicoicials; in other cases these motivations are simplyevidenced by the consistent and overwhelminglytelling results o the policies and practices applied toPalestinian East Jerusalem, which serve to maintain
East Jerusalem AdministrativeHouse Demolitions
 
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Thedesignationsemployedandthepresentationof material on thismapdonot implythe expressionof anyopinionwhatsoeveronthepartoftheSecretariat of theUnitedNationsconcerningthelegal status
 
ofanycountry,territory, cityor area or ofitsauthorities, orconcerningthedelimitationof itsfrontiersor boundaries.Reproduction and/or useof thismaterialis onlypermittedwithexpressreferenceto "UnitedNationsOCHA oPt" asthesource.
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ISRAEL
 
3n.m.Fishing LimitSinceJanuary 2009
BertiniCommitment12 n.m.Oslo Accords20 nautical miles
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EG Y P T JO R DA N
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   R   I   V   E   R   J   O   R   D   A   N
LodGazaAkkoElatHaifaRafahRamlaJeninTubasNablusHebronSalfitJerichoTiberiasTulkarmJabaliyaNazarethRamallahBeershebaBethlehemQalqilyahKhanYunis
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International Border Green Line
 
REGIONALCONTEXT
 W
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ANK
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LOSURE
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AST
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ERUSALEM
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
 July 2010
Data applicableuntil July2010.Access and closuredata is collected byOCHA field staff and is subjecttochange.Access mapping is a workin progress.Maps areupdated periodically.Cartography:OCHA Information ManagementUnitMap Produced:July2010Basedata and statistics:OCHA,JRC,PA-MOPIC
Forcomments contact<ochaopt@un.org> ortel.+972 (0)2 582-9962
www.ochaopt.org
MAPISPROVIDEDFREE OFCHARGENOT FOR SALE
     O     C     H     A
Constructed
1
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2
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1.TheconstructedandunderconstructionBarrierrouteisextractedfromaerialphotos,(May2009),comparedtodataprovidedbytheCouncilforPeaceandSecurity,JRC,ARIJandverifiedbyfieldsurveysasofJuly2010.2.TheplannedBarrierrouteisbasedon theIsraeligovernmentmap,publishedinApril2006anddataprovidedby ShaulArieli(CouncilforPeaceandSecurity)inJuly2009.3.Fifty-sevenBarriergatesallowrestrictedaccesstoPalestinianswhoholdpermits,orbypriorcoordination.1.In1967,IsraeloccupiedtheWestBankandunilaterallyannexedtoits territory70.5km
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OutpostLand cultivated by settlersSettlement municipal areaSettlement built-up andouter limit
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Area B
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3
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1.FullPalestinianciviland security control2.FullPalestiniancivilcontroland joint Israeli-Palestiniansecurity control3.HebronAgreement4.FullIsraelicontroloversecurity,planning andconstruction
* Notcounted in thetotal closurefigures.
Built-up
Israeli unilaterallydeclared Jerusalemboundary
1
ACCESSPHYSICALCLOSURES
 
a Jewish majority. Alongside the restrictions placedon Palestinian growth, Jewish population growth isencouraged and enjoys state support, including thecontinuous expansion o Jewish neighborhoods –or settlements – in East Jerusalem.One o the main methods o controlling Palestiniangrowth in East Jerusalem is via the impositiono restrictions on planning and building in thePalestinian sector. o begin with, only 13 percento the total land area in East Jerusalem is zoned orPalestinian building (with less than nine percentzoned or housing), ostensibly based on the need tomaintain open, “green spaces” (such as parks, naturereserves and agricultural zones), to preserve holy sitesand archaeological areas, and or other municipalconstruction (such as roads and inrastructure).However, given the major housing shortage among the Palestinian sector, these restrictions place graveburdens on Palestinians seeking housing whoseonly option is to build new housing. Additionally,Palestinian areas are typically zoned or lower “plotratios” than in Jewish areas. In other words, theapproved building density in the Palestinian sector(the percentage o the total land area on which thebuilding may be constructed, as well as its approvedheight) allows or ewer housing units than in the Jewish areas o the city, otentimes even with regardto neighboring communities.Naturally, proper zoning is a prerequisiteor obtaining a permit to build. Additionalrequirements include adequate inrastructure, proo o land ownership, as well as signiicantcosts and ees. While these requirements areidentical or both Jewish and Palestinian building  permit applicants, the two communities' respectivesocio-economic and political realities varysigniicantly. Firstly, many areas o the Palestiniansector lack adequate inrastructure, mainly dueto underinvestment in the Palestinian sectorover the years and disproportionate allocation o municipal unds between Palestinian and Jewishareas in the city. Given that installing the necessaryinrastructure without municipal support is oteneither unauthorized or cost-prohibitive, many areasin which Palestinians would wish to build, even when properly zoned or building, do not meet thestandards or obtaining building permits. Secondly,unlike in West Jerusalem where the PropertyRegistry has been maintained, proving landownership in East Jerusalem is extremely complex.he majority o the area was not registered during the periods o British and Jordanian control priorto 1967, and in that year Israel roze the process o land registration there. In act, the ownership o overhal o the land in East Jerusalem is not registered,thereby rendering it eectively impossible underthe current procedures (tightened since the start o the Second Intiada) or landowning residents toobtain permits or new construction on their land.Lastly, the building permit process entails highcosts and ees. While in the Jewish sector, thecosts o construction projects are typically sharedby construction companies and home purchasers,Palestinian building endeavors are oten carriedout by individuals or small groups o individuals – particularly given that Palestinian areas are almost without exception zoned or smaller buildings,rather than apartment complexes and high-risecondominiums. he high costs thereore presentan additional obstacle to Palestinians in obtaining building permits in East Jerusalem.he situation is merely worsened by the major
 population growth experienced by the Palestiniansector in East Jerusalem. As it stands, Israel hasnot updated the regional urban plan or East Jerusalem since its occupation and annexation in1967, and no new Palestinian neighborhood hasbeen created since. Meanwhile, in the 44 yearsthat have since passed, the Palestinian populationhas more than quadrupled (rom 66,000 in1967 ollowing the war to 300,000 today). hisgrowth is partly explained by natural populationgrowth (notably at slightly higher rates than the Jewish population), and partly by the currentlaws and policies regarding residency rights orPalestinians and their amily members.Palestinian East Jerusalemites are eligibleor resident status in Israel, but that status isconditioned upon many criteria that otentimes pose challenges or Palestinians who work, traveland live in other parts o the world (including the West Bank and Gaza), in order to be withamily or or various other reasons. Permanentresidency status was revoked rom 13,000Palestinian East Jerusalemites between 1967 and2008, and reinstating residency status is a lengthy,oten unsuccessul legal process, and without
Residency Revocation
Silwan, East Jerusaelm © Ben Guss

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