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Press Release

 

Israeli Army Seizes Tract of Land in north of Gaza Strip for Israeli Settlement

 

Date: 2 May 2002

Ref: 65/2002

 

The Israeli army Commander in the Gaza Strip yesterday ordered the seizure of a 200-donum piece of the land located alongside “Dogit” settlement in the north of the Gaza strip (one donum is 1,000 square meters).  The Israeli Commander has justified the land seizure on grounds of “military necessity” without further elaboration as to what the security needs are.  The order is effective from the beginning of this month until 1 May 2007.

 

According to PCHR’s investigations, the owners of the land have received a copy of the order, and have been granted seven days to appeal either to the Israeli army commander of the Gaza strip or the Israeli legal adviser.  The land is owned by ten Palestinian families, including the Shahin, al-Sdodi, al-Qatah, Khadier, Abu Rabieh, Nasr, al-Souri, Tarazi, and others.  According to the map attached to the order, the land is located in blocks number 1,744 and 1,745 and covers the area starting at the beach in the north of the Gaza strip to “Elei Sinai” settlement in the north.

 

Israeli occupying forces had razed the land and demolished houses on it in October 2001; the owners of the land replanted the land afterwards.

 

PCHR is currently preparing an appeal against the order to the Israeli army on behalf of owners of the land.  PCHR is deeply concerned by the order and fears that the land seized will in the future be used for Israeli settlements.  Israeli settlements are illegal under international humanitarian law, specifically Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  PCHR reiterates that the extensive appropriation of property not justified by military necessity is a grave breach under Article 147 of the Convention and calls upon the international community to take concrete and immediate steps to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

 

[translation of order below; for copy of attached map, click here]

 

 

 

Israeli defense forces

Land Seizure Order (2002)

 

In accordance with my mandate as commander for the army in the area, and according to my mandate in the law, and based on the belief that such a measure is necessary for security reasons, and due to security reasons in the area, I order the following:

 

1. Definition:

 

1.1.The “land”: The area on the map attached to this order in which a black line is drawn and stamped by me.

 

1.2.The “administration”: The government administration.

 

 

1.3. Land Held: I announce here that the land will be held for military reasons and necessities.

 

 

2. Properties:

 

The Israeli defense forces will hold the land and private property: The ownership of this land and its properties will be transferred to the land officer in the southern district leadership through the coordinator in the administration of the Ministry of Defense.

 

The people who have rights on this land are allowed to go to the coordinator of the security ministry and the coordinator in the administration in order to clarify their rights.

 

Announcement:

 

A copy of this order and the attached map will be sent to all of the concerned parties, who are

1)                    The office of the legal adviser in the area,

2)                    The office of planning and infrastructure engineering

3)                    The office of the Ministry of Defense

4)                    The coordinator for the office of governmental ownership in the administration.

 

The date of implementing the order:

 

The order will be in force from the 1st. of May 2002 until the 1st. of May 2007. Any activities on the land must from now on be in accordance with this order and through permission from the soldier, policeman, or any legal authorities which are appointed in order to enforce the order.

 

This order is called a “land seizure order” (2002) (Gaza Strip Area) on the 1st. of May 2002.

 

Doron Almog

Commander, IDF Southern Command