On 20 December 2021, Al-Haq submitted an Urgent Appeal for the immediate intervention of UN Special Procedures in the imminent demolition of ten structures in the Bedouin community of Al-Hadidya, in the Northern Jordan Valley, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
On Saturday, 25 November 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities authorized the demolition of the aforementioned structures. These ten structures are the property of Abdelraheem Bharat (Abu Saqr) and his family and include their residential tents as well as their only source of income, the sheds of their livestock.
Abdelraheem Bharat is a prominent leader and human rights defender in his community and is well-known throughout the Jordan Valley. In 2016, Mr. Bsharat participated in the negotiation sessions on the Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights held by the UN Human Rights Council, intervening on behalf of the ‘Friends of the Earth International. There, he testified to the complicity of Israeli enterprises, such as Israel’s National Water Company ‘Mekorot’, in apartheid practices and policies that target the indigenous protected Palestinian population and called on the international community to hold Israel and its corporations accountable for adverse human rights harms in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as a conflict-affected area.
Al-Hadidya is surrounded by the illegal settlement of Ro’i in the West, the militarized settlement of Humaidat in the East, the military bases of Samra and Mazuqa from the North, and closed military areas in the South. The forcible transfer of the Palestinian residents of Khirbet Humsa Al-Faqa, and the neighboring Al-Hadidya, have garnered some international attention after the brutal unlawful practices of the Israeli occupation authorities were revealed, which included a series of demolition raids, violent assaults, the confiscation of water tanks which were the community’s only source of water, and the largest forced displacement in four years, leaving 72 Palestinians homeless, including 38 children.
Following the issuing of four military orders to Abdelraheem Bharat, Al-Haq is gravely concerned that the Bharat family are in immediate danger of being forcibly and illegally evicted from their homes. Israel continues to ignore its responsibilities under international humanitarian law through, inter alia, the construction of more illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory and especially in the area surrounding the aforementioned community. The forcible transfer of civilians from occupied territory is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and amounts to a war crime and crime against humanity prosecutable at the International Criminal Court. Further, the destruction of the protected population’s private property is a violation of Article 46 of the Hague Regulations and amounts to inhumane acts of apartheid. Al-Haq warns that both the destruction of community properties and resulting forced displacement are imminent in the case of Abdelraheem Bharat and his family.
Accordingly, Al-Haq submits this Urgent Appeal for your immediate intervention:
To publicly call on Israel, as Occupying Power, to adhere to its legal obligations, and to immediately cease its systematic implementation of policies that are aimed at the demolition of Palestinian property and the forcible transfer of the protected Palestinian community;
For your immediate intervention to prevent the State of Israel from carrying out any further demolitions in Al-Hadidya, and to freeze and rescind all demolition orders, including the four issued to Abdelraheem Bharat to call on Israel to refrain from any forcible transfer of any resident from Al-Hadidya to any other location;
Call for the protection of Abdelraheem Bharat and his family from persecution, as a Human Rights Defender;
For the State of Israel to comply with its international human rights and humanitarian law obligations in the OPT;
To call on the Third States to comply with their obligations to respect and ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions, by immediately adopting effective measures to pressure Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, and to not conduct business with Israeli companies involved in human rights abuses in the OPT;
Publicly call for international justice and accountability for Israel’s widespread, long-established, and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, by urging the progression of the ICC investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.