Location, population and area
The town of Halhul is located at the northern edge of Hebron city in the mountainous heart land of the West Bank. It has the highest peak in the West Bank â�� Nabi Yunis summit - which is 1030 meters above sea level. Halhul's population mounts to 25000 people, primarily dependent on agriculture as main income. It has the total land surface area of 38000 dunums. So far, about 2000 dunums ( almost 5% of its total land) have been confiscated or under the threat of confiscation of the use of Karmei Zur colony and the new plan for bypass road number 60 ( For related details, please read case study entitled ' Bypass road 60 hit hard at Beit Ummer and Halhul fertile agricultural land, September, 2006).
(Map 1: location of Halhul town)
Legal procedures in vein
In an interview with LRC field worker, the owner of the demolished house, Mr. Abu Yusif ,said that for one a half year he pursued a legal case in the Israeli court at Beit Eil against the demolition order through the office of the Land Defense Committees (LDC) in Hebron. At the end, the Beit Eil court decided to close the file which pushed the Land Defense Committees' office in Hebron to try to take the file to the Israeli high court. Such a measure requires that a lawyer from inside Israeli be in charge of the case. Therefore, the Committees' contacted the Saint Eve legal support society which is based in Jerusalem to take charge. However, they apologized for being unable to hold this duty because of work load.
Following this, Mr. Abu Yusif added, LDC contacted layer Mahmud Jabarin from Um Al Fahim inside Israel who succeeded to bring the case in front of the Israeli high court, but the latter maintained the demolition order issued earlier by the Beit Eil court and refused to change it. At the same time, the lawyer didn't inform LDC of this development.
Three other houses threatened
It is worth mentioning here that three other houses are threatened with demolition, two of them are adjacent to the demolished one: the first one is 350 M2 and belongs to Mr. As'ad Salman Al Wawi; the second is 400 M2 and belongs to Mr. Sa'id Abu Yusif. Both received the notifications from the Israeli side for (halting construction) on January 22nd, 2997.
(Photos 4 & 5: : Ar Ramuz quarter, Halhul: in the foreground are the two threatened houses of Mr. As'ad Salman Al Wawi and Mr. Sa'id Abu Yusif, in the background is the expanding colony of Karmei Zu located between Beit Ummer and Halhul towns)
(Photo 6: Khirbet Aqel- Halhul: Mr. Aqel standing the entrance to his threatened house )
The third house is located in Khirbet Aqel opposite Ar Ramuz quarter on the other side of the bypass road and owed by Mr. Ahamd Mahmud Nooh Aqel, 52 years old. He received the notification for ( Halting construction ) on January 21st, 2007 the same day he moved in to the house with his family. Mr. Aqel is a father of 5 children tow of them are suffering kidney failures ( see the attached medical reports).
(Photos 7,8 & 9 : Copies of the medical reports fro Mr. Aqel's sick children)
(Photo 10: : Ar Ramuz quarter, Halhul another photo of the threatened house of Mr. Sa'id Abu Yusif)
The above three houses were on the list of demolitions on that day, but intervention on the part of the Land Defense Committees with the Israeli legal advisor at Beit Eil brought in instant restraining orders. The same measure would been done in the case of Mr. Abu Yusif if LDC had known of the Israeli high court's aforementioned decision.
(Photos 11,12 &13 : copies of the halt construction orders against the three houses)
Conformations and injuries
Upon arriving at the town in the early hours of March 20th, 2007, the Israeli army bulldozers and the accompanying force were met with stone and empty bottle throwers and protesters who waged fierce confrontations with the Israeli soldiers an attempt to the prevent the demolition of Mr. Abu Yusif's house. At least ten people were injured with live, rubber and metal coated bullets fired by the Israeli soldiers. Other people suffered suffocation as a result of throwing gas bombs at the scene.
(Photo 14: : Ar Ramuz quarter, Halhul: gas canisters being fired at the protesters during the demolition process)
Amongst the injured persons are the following:
Amer Abdul Hadi Abu Yusif, 35 years old and a father of 5, he was hit with a bomb shrapnel in the head;
Yusif Atta Zama'ra 40 years old and a father of 6, he was hit with a rubber bullet in the head;
Mustafa Abdullah Ajarmeh, 17 years old and a high school student was hit with a live bullet in the pelvis;
(Photo 15: Ar Ramuz quarter, Halhul: blood stains on the ground)
In addition, the vice- president of the Halhul municipality, Mr. Khalid Ihneihin suffered multiple bruises and lost consciousness as a result of physical beating at the hands of the Israeli soldiers. All of the injured persons were admitted to Hebron hospital for treatment.