On July, 22, 2019, security forces tore down a cluster of Palestinian houses, which the Israeli government said are illegal because they were built too close to the West Ban separation barrier.
Around 200 Israeli soldiers and 700 police officers swooped down on the village of Wadi Hummus, located at the edge of Sur Baher. They arrived with excavators and began tearing down 10 buildings earmarked for demolition.
Although Palestinian residents said the Palestinian Authority had given them permits to build the houses, the Israeli government contends they were illegally constructed, based on the ruling handed down in 2012 by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the Supreme Court had already ruled unequivocally that building houses in the area of the security fence, is prohibited. Those who insist on building in that area are taking the law into their own hands. He further quoted a passage in the ruling, which said
“the illegal construction constitutes a severe security threat”
Actually, the ruling made by the courts in 2012 mentioned that the houses built near the barrier “limit the operational freedom of the military as well as increase tension among the civilian population”. The Supreme Court elaborated by stating that such buildings may also shelter illegal residents or terrorists; allowing terrorist operatives to sneak in and/or smuggle weapons inside Israeli territory,
Palestinian Authority Set to File a Complaint with the ICC
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said they intend to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel’s “grave aggression”.
PM Shtayyeh describes it as continuing action of the forced displacement from their homes and lands, which is a war crime not only on the people of Jerusalem but also against humanity.
UN officials have warned that under international humanitarian law, the demolition actions launched by Israel were incompatible with its obligations.
The European Union likewise appealed to the Israel government to immediately cease the demolitions, asserting that such actions undermine the policy for lasting peace.