31. Stop work / Demolition order
Tuqu’, West Bank - Palestine
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
21 x 30 cm
5/5 edition (+ AP)
A stop work / demolition order placed outside a Bedouin tent by Israeli civil administrators in the desert near Tuqu'. Two civil administrators and five soldiers were present at the time this order was delivered. Despite a Bedouin woman and her teenage son present - the administrators left the order under a rock by the tent. It is routine practice for administrators to leave the order beside the relevant constructions. As a result it is not uncommon for these orders to be lost to the elements before being sighted leaving the owners without time to prepare a formal legal challenge.
In 1995, Oslo II Accord was signed by Israeli president Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat. The Accord divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and C.
Area A was designated as under full Palestinian civil and security control (18% of West Bank).
Area B was designated as under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control (22% of West Bank).
Area C was designated as under full Israel civil and security control (63% of West Bank).
Under the primary legislation used to regulate construction in the Area C (Jordanian Planning Law - number 76 / 1966) most constructions require a building permit. Israeli Civil Administrators interpret the vagueness used and term 'constructions' very loosely to include tents as well as water wells, fences, roads and specific sections of buildings as subject to the legislation.
It is notoriously difficult to successfully acquire a building permit in the West Bank. Applications cost 400 NIS ($150 AUD) to submit. Between 2002 and 2012, only 5% of building permit applications were approved by the Civil Administration across the whole West Bank.
Growing families and farmers often have no choice but to construct larger homes or wells (respectively) anyway out of necessity. Bedouin need to often move their dwellings to where their livestock can feed.
According to OCHA oPt, since 1988, 3344 Palestinian homes and other constructions have been demolished by Israeli authorities.
This does not include punitive demolitions by the Israeli military after Palestinian attacks and politically motivated attacks by settlers also as sources of destruction of housing in the West Bank.