[News] Israeli forces demolish EU-funded homes in southern West Bank Bedouin village

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 14 12:32:58 EDT 2017


  Israeli forces demolish EU-funded homes in southern West Bank Bedouin
  village

Aug. 14, 2017 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778684
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished housing donated by the 
European Union (EU) in a Bedouin village in the southern occupied West 
Bank on Monday morning, locals told Ma’an.
Muhammad Shanan, a resident of Khashem al-Daraj, told Ma’an that Israeli 
bulldozers under heavy military protection demolished two houses in the 
village belonging to Mustafa Salim Awwad and Moussa Ahmad Awwad.

Meanwhile, Ratib al-Jabour, a coordinator of the National and Popular 
Committees in the southern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli troops had 
also escorted bulldozers in the nearby Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir, 
where residents feared their homes would also be demolished.

A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the 
Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing 
Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, said they were 
looking into the reports.

Khashem al-Daraj and Umm al-Kheir are among dozens of small communities 
located in the Masafer Yatta area -- also known as the South Hebron 
Hills -- which falls within Israel's "Firing Zone 918," and inside the 
occupied West Bank's Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full 
Israeli civil and security control.

Palestinians are prohibited from entering firing zones without rarely 
granted permission from Israeli authorities, which has had “a serious 
humanitarian impact on Palestinian civilians and dramatically reduced 
the land available to them for residential and livelihood uses," 
according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of 
Humanitarian Affairs 
<https://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_firing_zone_factsheet_august_2012_english.pdf> 
(OCHA).

Masafer Yatta residents were expelled at the time of the establishment 
of the firing zone in the 1970s and were eventually allowed back 
following a long court battle, but are under the constant threat of 
being expelled or seeing their homes demolished.

In 2016, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Palestine warned of a 
heightened risk of the forcible transfer of Bedouins 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772814> in the occupied West 
Bank, including the community of Umm al-Kheir, amid an unprecedented 
surge in demolitions and land confiscations across the occupied 
territory this year.

Meanwhile, the presence of around 3,000 Israeli settlers illegally 
living in the area has restricted Palestinian growth over the past 
decade while Israeli authorities reallocate local resources for 
settlement expansion.

Earlier this month <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778503>, 
Israeli authorities reportedly completed the construction of a 
41.8-kilometer section of Israel’s illegal separation wall in the South 
Hebron Hills.

The separation wall, expected to reach 708 kilometers upon its 
completion -- 88 percent of which is planned inside occupied Palestinian 
territory -- is a common sight in the occupied West Bank, where 
Israeli-installed cement walls and barrier fences zig zag throughout the 
landscape.

Israeli leaders often claim that the wall serves a security purpose to 
deter potential Palestinian attacks on Israelis. However, many 
activists, academics, and analysts have said that the wall is instead a 
massive “land grab” of large tracts of the Palestinian territory, and a 
strategy to consolidate Israel’s sovereignty over Area C where illegal 
Israeli settlements are built or in the process of being built.

The wall’s construction has continued unabated despite being the 
International Court of Justice ruling that it breached international 
law. Encroaching deep into the Palestinian territory, the separation 
wall has left Palestinian neighborhoods stranded on both sides of the 
barrier, and isolating communities from their agricultural lands.
-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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