[ for questions and queries email@example.com ]
For many years settlers from Kiryat Arba have been attacking the homes of three El Ja'abari families in Wadi Nasara, situated between Hebron and Kiryat Arba. Ever since March 2007, when settlers occupied a nearby building, they have been regularly attacking the El Ja'abari homes in that building, too.
About a year ago, settlers torched one of the homes. On 6th and 7th June, 2008, settlers approached the El Ja'abari homes, threw stones and caused damage to the roofs of the three buildings. On 13th June, 2008, settlers from the occupied building invaded one of the nearby El Ja'abari homes. They cursed and tried to attack the family, but finally the family succeeded in chasing them out. The settlers' attacks increase on Fridays and Saturdays.
According to the El Ja'abaris, calling the police does not help. The police always listen to the settlers...
The IDF has put a road block near the main road and prevents the residents from having access to the road.
--On Wednesday 25th June, 2008, a large police contingent came to the Bedouin village Bir Hadaj and demolished two homes. Nineteen people were made homeless.
Settlers from Yizhar continue to harass their Palestinian neighbours. On Thursday 19th June, 2008, they were reinforced by settlers from other places. On Tuesday, 17th June, 2008 settlers from Yizhar had attacked the Palestinian village Burin and killed two donkeys.
Two days later, on Thursday, 19th June, 2008, police forces demolished a caravan at an illegal outpost of Yizhar. Settlers went out on a rampage to take revenge on Palestinians. They attacked two villages, A-Sira Al Qibliyya and Burin. A reinforcement of over 200 settlers, arriving by bus, started to throw stones at passing Palestinian cars and then went to attack both villages. Some of the marauders attacked inside the villages, and others went to torch the agricultural fields. Soldiers who were stationed there did nothing to stop the attacks. Only after approaches by human rights organisations did a reinforcement of soldiers arrive. The villagers tried to resist the attacks and reject the attackers with stones. The soldiers threw teargas grenades at the Palestinians and into Palestinian homes. Even when the settlers had been dispersed from the villages, for a long time afterwards the soldiers prevented the Palestinians from going to put out the flames in their fields.
Muhammad Hamamra of the Palestinian village Husan worked in the settlement Beitar Ilit. He and Melissa (a young Jewish settler from Beitar Ilit) fell in love and decided to get married. With that in mind, Melissa converted to Islam. A month ago they got married in Husan and have been living there since. Settlers from Beitar Ilit attacked the village and claimed Melissa was kidnapped. They threatened that the army would come to take her back to the settlement.
On Thursday, 12/06/08, soldiers arrived in Husan, surrounded Muhammad & Melissa's home, and took both of them away from the village.They were released the next day.
For nearly thirty years the Israeli military establishment has been trying to evict the Palestinian population from the south Hebron hills. For that purpose, a large area was declared military zone, expulsions were carried out, cisterns filled with dirt and stones, homes demolished, settlements and outposts erected.
Now roadblocks are used.
On 05/06/08 the Israeli army created a barrier of rocks and soil on the road connecting Twane, a village in the south Hebron area, and Yatta, the regional central town, thus suddenly blocking the one road that enables the transport of water, fodder and other supplies to the cave dwellers' villages in the area.
This year has been struck with drought, so a severe shortage of water and grazing vegetation has hit the area.
The media reported on 19th May, 2008, that IDF soldiers killed a Palestinian youth, who tried to cross the Hawara checkpoint with explosives fixed in water pipes tied to his belt. A female soldier was even decorated...
The boy, Fahmi 'Abed ElJawwad Eldarduk, a ninth grade student, left home with two cellular phones and an earphone. To calm his father he told him he had already passed the Hawara checkpoint before he actually passed it. At about 19:30, after passing the carouselle (rotating gate), the soldiers ordered him to lift his shirt. The cellphone and earphone probably made them suspicious, and they shot him immediately. A Palestinian ambulance arrived after twenty minutes but was not allowed to get near. Only at 23:30 was it allowed to take away the dead body.
IDF soldiers dispersed other Palestinians there, with tear gas and stun grenades. Settlers threw stones, and the soldiers did not stop them. Whose story should we believe?
The villagers of 'Asira ElQibliyya suffer from non-stop attacks on their village. The attackers are settlers from the settlement Yizhar and IDF soldiers. On Friday, May 16, 2008, after 2.00 p.m., some 25 settlers from Yizhar came to the outskirts of the village and started stoning houses, and torching the villagers' agricultural plots. IDF soldiers who came did nothing to stop the settlers. Villagers who tried to stop the settlers' invasion were shot at by the soldiers with rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. One water tank, standing on a roof in the village, was damaged by bullets. The settlers stole a donkey from the village. The next day they renewed their attacks. The IDF stopped them that time.
The villagers report that these attacks have been going on for six years now, approximately once a month. Lately, the attacks have taken place weekly on Friday or Saturday. In addition to that, at times the IDF enters the village late at night, takes control of houses, puts all their inhabitants in one room, while the soldiers take over the rest of it.
A day at the DCL office (District Co-ordination & Liaison Office), Etzion District:
98 Palestinians arrived this morning (18th May, 2008) at the DCL office, some have been waiting since 5.30 a.m. By 12.30 p.m. only 23 had been allowed to enter. Whoever doesn't succeed in being received by the end of the day will be sent home and have to try again tomorrow, which means having to start again in another queue.
A dental technician came last week, to renew his entry permit into Israel. The military clerk had asked him to come back with more paperwork. But the clerk didn't know any Arabic, and the technician doesn't speak Hebrew and hadn't understood him, so had come back today, stood again in line, hoping that this time the clerk would be able to explain to him in Arabic what was required.
Three people came because they'd received a General State Security "summons" to attend an Investigation. One, a doctor who manages a medical organisation, was summoned to appear last Thursday, came for his appointment at the time which had been set, waited in line all day until 3 p.m., when he was told to return again on Sunday. Today he has been waiting since the morning and understands that again today he will not be received and will have to waste another whole work day tomorrow. Two other Palestinians tell us this is the third time they've come for investigation at the appointed time, but were always sent home in spite of having come. They are scared that if they fail to return, they'll receive a night visit during which they'll be taken away for investigation...
The West Bank district of the Israeli Police Force is known for its failure to arrest and press charges against colonists (aka settlers) who commit crimes. Here is a recent example:
On Friday, May 2nd, 2008 , colonists from the Maon colony assaulted Palestinian residents and international activists in the village of Tuani, in the South Hebron hills. First soldiers tried to separate the two sides. Then colonists pointed to several Palestinians and accused them of stealing cherries. The soldiers also began to assault the Palestinians. Policemen who arrived at the spot arrested five Palestinians. When Palestinians and internationals approached the policemen in order to file complaints, and show them which of the colonists had hurt them, the policemen refused to accept the complaints and arrest the assailants.
Two Palestinians and two internationals had to be taken to hospital for further medical care.
The Palestinian village 'Azzun 'Atme is situated between the Green Line and the separation barrier (See Don't say # 89). The checkpoint that separates the village from the West Bank blocks a vital artery and is a constant source of harrasment to the village.
On 14/04/08 village children returned from a trip in four busses. Upon their arrival the soldiers prevented them from entering the village. The mayor of 'Azun 'Atme, who tried to talk to the soldiers, was shot with rubber coated bullets and wounded. Three other inhabitants who tried to come and take back the children were shot with live ammunition and wounded. Only after midnight were the children allowed to go back to their village.
On Saturday, 03/05/08, a woman, on her way back to her home village, went to the checkpoint, accompanied by her brother and five children. The brother intended to drive them home. At the checkpoint the brother was told to get out of the car and wait on the side. He spoke on his cellphone while waiting. The checkpoint commander called him over and started beating him. He was put in a jail cell at the site, where other soldiers beat him as well. His family took him back to the village and called an ambulance. The soldiers held up the ambulance for half an hour at the checkpoint.
On Monday, April 7th, 2008, a youth named Sharif Bajes Farid Shatiya, crossed Road 557 with his family's flock of sheep, on his way back to the village Salem near Nablus. Road 557 leads to the settlement Elon Moreh, and only Jews are allowed to use it. Sharif was 15 years old, and was the fourth shepherd to cross the road with his flock. A bus driver from the Dan Co-operative, called Arnon Shay, who was driving his bus there, hit Sharif and killed him. The impact of the hit was so strong that Sharif was flung a distance of 70 metres. Sharif's donkey and five sheep died in the accident as well. Many more sheep were injured. The driver sped off and escaped to the settlement Elon Moreh. The Ariel settlement police arrested him and released him on bail.
The next day, Tuesday April 8th, 2008, a MachsomWatch activist at Taysir checkpoint heard a soldier serving in the Nahal (religious) unit, who was also a settler from Elon Moreh, describing the accident to a friend, shouting as he described how the day before a bus had killed "some little Arabush, what a laugh it was, what a show, with the boy smeared all over the road..."
On April 15th, 2008, Hamed Nimr Khadatbh of Beit Furiq went to work in his family's field near the settlement Hamra. He tried to return via the Hamra checkpoint, where he was prevented from returning; (being 15 years old he still does not have an ID). He had to use a longer bypass road. In the evening his family went to look for him, including on Hamra land, but did not find him. The next day Hamed's father found his son's dead body on the land of Hamra with signs of abuse. An Israeli police officer determined that the signs are those of murder. The family suspects that settlers from Hamra murdered their son.
In the last three years, settlers have murdered two other people from Beit Furiq, when they were working on their land near the settlement Itamar.
On Wednesday April 16th, 2008, police forces demolished a house in the Bedouin village Umm A-Namila (north of Rahat). They continued to the village Al-Ahabiyya, near Moshav Nevatim, where they continued to demolish two more homes and an extension to a house.
One of the ways for settlers to take control of Palestinians' land is to herd their flocks onto them. On April 8th, 2008, a 12-year old Palestinian boy was grazing his family's flocks on their own land. A settler from Yair's Outpost arrived with his flock, and beat and wounded the Palestinian boy. Soldiers came and gave medical first aid and evacuated the boy to Susya junction, from where a Palestinian ambulance drove him to a hospital in Yatta.
According to various reports, settlers often move from one outpost to another to escape police investigations.
This part is about the previous week
On Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, police forces demolished a home in the Bedouin village Tarabin A-Sane'. Sixteen people were made homeless, without a roof over their heads. The police continued to Twail Abu Jarwal and demolished the entire village for the who knows what time (15th?).
In the Fourth Geneva Convention - which deals with protecting citizens during war and while under occupation - occupied citizens are referred to as protected.
Five years ago, after a large attack and battle on the Worshippers` Way in Hebron, settlers attacked the home of Muhammad Nur Hamed Jaber and burnt it - and stole jewellery and valuable personal effects. The family locked the house, left their furniture and property inside - and went to live elsewhere.
On Thursday, March 20th, 2008, soldiers broke into the house and stayed there for four days, for security during the Purim holiday. This was the first time the army has used Jaber`s house. On Monday morning, after the soldiers left, Jaber called a smith to weld the door closed. During the night of the next Thursday, the house was broken into again - eyewitnesses identified the intruders as soldiers - who turned the house upside down and created a huge amount of damage.
This time I'm sending Erela Dunayevski's words verbatim. I apologise for the length, but those of you who'd like to understand the reality of the occupied territories will find a good description of it here.
Erela Dunayevski: TWO DONKEYS AND THE NEXT WAR
Friday, 21st March, 2008, Purim festival. Four of us – Ehud and I from Kibbutz Shoval, and our friends, Boaz and his son Amit, from Neve Shalom, visited Umm El-Kheir – a village situated in the South Hebron Hills. Right next to the Palestinian hamlet, there's the settlement Carmel.
In spite of the fact that the settlement is situated on the land of Umm El-Keir, and there's water and electricity in the settlement and not in the village, and that the grazing area for the flocks of Umm El-Kheir have shrunk due to the settlement, and that if anyone does anything that is considered forbidden by the Carmel settlers he risks his health and life, in spite of all that, 'Eid, a youngster from Umm El-Kheir, says he wishes they'd live together as good neighbours. He says all the trouble is made by two or three people of the settlement outpost, built in 2005. 'Eid says that his family knows a Carmel settler who is a good person, and that he has eaten with them, and when Carmel children throw stones towards Umm El-Kheir, he stops them. These things Ehud and I had heard before that day, the day when the case of the two donkeys took place. Listening to 'Eid, we thought maybe we could find this good person of the Carmel settlement and strike up a sort of communication, leading to calm. That's why Ehud, Boaz Amit and I returned to Umm El-Kheir that Friday.
When we arrived, the men went to pray and the women stayed with us. We chatted in the visitors' shed and then went to look around. While we were looking, two donkeys from Umm El-Kheir started walking towards Carmel. Quite quickly they passed the open area between the main settlement and the newer outpost. The women of Umm El-Kheir got worried, since it was dangerous for the villagers to get them back. I thought that we, being Jewish, could help them easily, and prevent another unnecessary conflict.
Boaz and Amit started to move the donkeys towards the village, while I stood at the road connecting the two parts of the settlement so the donkeys wouldn't go towards the main settlement. Ehud stayed with the village women to calm them. After five minutes the donkeys returned, and we were happy to have been of assistance, and that no incident had taken place. But within those five minutes the Carmel security detail arrived, including one person on a quad-bike, who shouted at Boaz, that "if a donkey passes here again, it will be shot, including the person who comes to get it back". Boaz replied that "no one is going to be shot" but no one listened to him. We probably did not really understand what was going on.
Then the (civilian) security chief of Carmel arrived, with a female soldier who was on patrol in the area. Boaz went to the vehicle with his hand stretched out for a hand shake to introduce himself, and someone near the security chief shook his hand but did not say his name. Immediately they started shouting at us, calling us provocators, leftists, Jew-haters, leftist provocators, etc. I tried to explain about the donkeys, but only the soldier listened. When the security chief saw she was listening, he yelled at her to go and do her duty. The soldier was scared and left. Meanwhile a police car with three policemen arrived and another military vehicle with soldiers. The three of us (Boaz, Amit and myself) tried to explain but were constantly interrupted by the settlers. Amit tried to talk to some youngsters from Carmel who arrived disguised (it was Purim festival) but was threatened, while another youngster shouted at the police to detain us.
Amit asked the policeman (named Avner) why he let them to talk to him like that. Avner shrugged his shoulders. Boaz also tried to talk to some of the kids but this was interrupted by an older settler who called Boaz a Jew-hater. We didn't change our subdued tone, while they only increased their violent tone. But there was no dialogue.
The policemen listened to the whole donkey ordeal and didn't think much of it. Only that they were totally controlled by the settlers. They reported to the police commander of Kiryat Arba. Avner and Ofer the policemen told us they were helpless and constrained by their commanders' orders. I told them that Jews should not say that they are "only obeying orders."
I was very stressed when they told us (it was noon) that we were being detained for interrogation, as I had to get back to my kibbutz for an important meeting regarding a client of mine. I tried to explain that to the police, but it didn't help, they had to carry on this futile inquiry only because the police and military are controlled by the settlers. When we got to the police station we waited for an hour before we were interrogated. The investigator met first with Simcha, the settlement security officer and he filed a complaint. I again requested we be interrogated first so I could get back on time, but to no avail. Simcha is more important, or threatening, or it's best to keep on good terms with him. Finally the investigator told us in our interrogation that we were being delayed so the police could protect us from the settlers.
They gave us the phone number of the senior investigating officer. That evening we used it, as a drunken settler of Carmel (these were Purim festival days) entered Umm El-Kheir to raise havoc. The Carmel settlers took him back before the police arrived.
To protect myself from the abyss of hatred, I hope that one day they'll open their eyes and see. Until that happens we shall frequent Umm El Kheir trying to help them…
Some inhabitants of the South Hebron Hills were expelled from their villages in 1999, and in 2001, the Supreme Court of Justice, in an order overturning that expulsion, enabled their return. In spite of the court's decision, the IDF and settlers continue to try to evict the inhabitants from their villages and land. Recurring home demolitions, expulsion of farmers from their land, and assaults on students on their way to school demonstrate that intention.
On Wednesday, 19 March, 2008, the IDF demolished 11 homes in the South Hebron Hills region. In Qawawis, two homes and a sheep shed were demolished and a residential cave was blocked up. In Yatir - three homes and a sheep shed were demolished. In Dirat - two homes. In Umm Lasifa - two homes. The next day, three settlers attacked two youngsters and a pregnant woman herding their flock near Twane. The same day settlers from Maon outpost attacked Palestinian kids from Tuba, while on their way to the school in Twane.
On Saturday, 23 March 2008, settlers attacked a Palestinian who was herding his flock in Qawawis.
The co-operation between the security forces and the settlers, in the attempt to drive Palestinians off their land is examplified in the following cases:
--On Thursday, 13/03/08, a policeman (Captain Imran) attacked two shepherds from Umm El-Kheir (see Don't say... #100). The police arrested two shepherds, and later released them in condition that they will not enter their own land!
--On Friday, 14/03/08, several shepherds, accompanied by internationals, went to herd their livestock in Harruba valley near Twane. After talking to settlers of Havat Maon, Israeli security forces arrived and attacked the shepherds and their company. The security forces ordered them to leave the area as it was declared a closed military area.
--On Saturday, several shepherds from Mufqara and Twane herded their livestock near the outpost Avigail. Soldiers and settlers demanded them and their Israeli and international company to go away. That day Israeli forces attacked Palestinian shepherds and their Israeli companions while they were herding their livestock on their land near Susya. They arrested two shepherds (claiming they attacked the soldiers. The video proved the opposite) and two Israeli companions. Israeli soldiers sweared at the Israelis and called them Nazis.
The Hadhelin tribe were forced to leave their land and homes in Tel 'Arad in the south of Israel, in 1948.
Throughout the years they have bought land in the South Hebron hills region, and built their new village there: Umm El-Kheir. Today there are 80 people living in this village. In 1981 the colony of Carmel was built nearby and partly on their land. The inhabitants of Umm El-Kheir do not get construction permits, only demolition orders and demolitions. The settlement expands and new houses are built near Umm El-Kheir. Ever since these house were inhabited, the settlers have tried to expel their Palestinian neighbours. On Friday, 07/03/08, some thirty settlers attacked shepherds of the Hadhelin. They threw to the ground and wounded a 70-year old woman. Police and army forces were called to the spot. No culprit was arrested. On Sunday, 09/03/08, settlers attacked the shepherds again.
Nr. 99 Things everybody knows.
Now, as a war is waged in Gaza, and criminal attacks on civilian localities in Israel continue, I'll write things which everybody knows, but tends to forget when succumbing to rage and hatred. Ever since the Beirut meeting of the Arab League in 2002, the Arab world has offered peace to Israel. Israeli governments have refused ever since. For some years, the President of Syria, Assad, has been calling on the Israeli government to return to the negotiation table. Israel refuses. The Geneva Initiative understandings showed that a Palestinian-Israeli peace could be achieved. One reason the Sharon government chose unilateral disengagement was to undermine the Geneva Initiative. Israel and the USA demanded the Palestinians to hold democratic elections. Such elections were indeed carried out, but unfortunately the wrong party was elected. Israel and the USA chose to boycott the Palestinian Authority. After Hamas took over Gaza, Israel started to negotiate with Abu Mazen, on condition that he would not come to terms with Hamas. For a long time, Hamas has offered Israel a ceasefire. Israel has refused that offer.
The co-operation between extremist settlers and the Government and the Municipality of Jerusalem, in settling Jews and pushing out Palestinians, is exemplified in the case of Silwan.
The Elad Association started taking control of houses and land in Silwan in 1991. It was given responsibility over the Jewish-owned land in Silwan by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). At the time, the association was interested in construction, even if Jewish antiquities were damaged. In spite of the fact that Elad was accused of damaging the antiquities in Silwan, the Jerusalem Municipality transferred responsibility for the antiquities and archaeological excavations to the association. The IDF takes educational tours in the place, conducted by guides from Elad. Taking control of Palestinian homes in questionable ways is accompanied by guarding them â€“ the guards are fully financed by the State. Often, Palestinian houses threatened by demolition are purchased. Once purchased, not only are they not demolished, but additions are made to them! Nowadays, the association uses the archaeological excavations to close off areas from the Palestinian residents. The excavations are carried out under Palestinian homes, causing them damage. In a kindergarten large cracks were caused to the building because of the excavation underneath. Two weeks ago, five families appealed to the Supreme Court against the excavations carried out under their homes. The next day, in the late hours of the night, police came and arrested five people from the families.
The village Mashad is situated north-east of Upper Nazareth, and has a population of 6,900 residents. Before a huge land confiscation in the 1970s, they had owned 11,069 dunums (dunum=1000 sq.m), of which they managed to retain only 7,300. Only 830 dunums have been zoned for residential construction. Housing problems have forced residents to move to the village Reina or even to Upper Nazareth. On 14th June, 2007 bulldozers of the Ministry of Interior and the Israel Lands Administration came to the village and uprooted olive trees in plots they claimed had been confiscated in 1976 (64 dunums). The landowners replanted their trees, and erected a protest tent in which they and other villagers lived. On 15th January 2008, they left, hoping the government had given up. On the same day, police with tractors came to the plots and uprooted 400 olive trees.
The IDF's efforts to expel the Bedouin residents of El Hadidiyya continue. Hadidiyya is located in the Jordan valley (see Don't say #s 57 and 69). On Wednesday, February 6th, 2008, the IDF demolished homes and animal sheds belonging to four families. Thirty-four people, mostly children, were made homeless. On the same day, the IDF demolished the homes and animal sheds of five Palestinian families in Jiftlik in the Jordan valley. Nearly forty people were thus made homeless.
On Tuesday, 5th February, 2008, police forces arrived in Twayyel Abu Jarawal in the Negev, and demolished the village's tents for the fourteenth time.
On January 24th, 2008, Muhammad and Mahmud Sabarina entered a yeshiva in the settlement Kfar Etzion and tried to attack the people there. The two men were killed in the ensuing fight.
On Friday, February 1st, 2008, the IDF passed their bodies on to the Red Crescent, which then handed their bodies over to their families in Beit Umar for burial. The large funeral procession left the mosque in Beit Umar and moved towards the town's cemetery. On approaching the gate that blocks the entrance to Route No. 60 - and the town's cemetery - IDF soldiers stationed nearby opened fire on the people who had come to pay their last respects. They used live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, gas and stun grenades. No warning was given.
The families and some other people managed to get to the cemetery using a bypass road. Then IDF soldiers arrived and at gunpoint told them to bury their dead quickly and leave. Other soldiers entered the town and started shooting live ammunition, gas, and rubber-coated bullets, and pursuing youngsters who threw stones at them.
Fourteen of the town's residents were wounded.
The co-operation between the state and the settlers in efforts to expel Palestinians from their villages and lands in the South Hebron Hills area, continues.
The following case serves as an example:
The Shinirans lived in Arab Susya. In the mid 1980s, the IDF expelled the residents, because the site was declared a national archaeological site. The Shiniran family then settled on its land, outside the village, some 2,5 kms west of the settlement Susya. In 2000, settlers started to attack the family, trying to forcibly expel them. In 2001, the army expelled all Palestinians of Susya, including the Shinirans. An interim Supreme Court order facilitated their return. Attacks on the family started anew. In March 2006, fifteen masked settlers arrived and evicted the family from its hilltop homes. The family filed a complaint with the police. The police "had to" close the case for lack of proof.
Two months after the end of the olive harvest, in most places, Palestinians were able to harvest their olive trees. However, we know of four places in which they could not harvest because of settler aggression, in spite of appeals to the DCOs.
Palestinians of the village Karyut could not harvest, fearing settlers of the settlements Shvut Rachel and Esh Kodesh.
Palestinians of Jit were attacked by settlers of Havat Gilad and could not harvest their olives.
Palestinians of Bani Na'im, in that part of their land surrounded by the security fence of the settlement Pnei Hever, were not permitted to enter and harvest their olives.
A Palestinian by the name of Khalifa Da'ana of Hebron, whose land is surrounded by the security fence of Giv'at Harsina, was permitted entry only on 18th January 2008. There was already nothing left to harvest. The following day settlers arrived and stoned his home. When he tried to photograph them, his camera was confiscated by soldiers. Only after human rights' workers intervened was it returned to him.
In parallel with the establishment of outposts, settlers start controlling land which they do not own, some of it owned by Palestinians, and some classified as "state land". The Civil Administration (IDF) makes no particular effort to stop them. For example, in August 2007, an area of about 20 dunums (dunum = 1000 sq.m) was prepared for cultivation near the settlement Nahliel, some of which land is privately owned by Palestinians. A complaint to the Civil Administration led to a declaration that the activities were illegal. In October 2007, the Civil Administration issued an order for activities to cease. In December 2007, it was discovered during a survey that the plot had already expanded to become 100 dunums in size.
I'll make a short confession: I've been involved for over ten years in the struggle against the policy of home demolition, and never ever have I heard of humans being referred to in such a way. The case relates to some ten buildings of about 200 people of the Jadua' family, of the Jahalin tribe, living in a part of the village 'Anata annexed to Jerusalem by Israel in 1967. The Jerusalem Municipality decided to demolish their homes and evict the people. To that end, the demolition order was issued for demolition of "environmental hazards, waste and rubbish".
Refusing to grant construction permits as well ashome demolitions are tools in thedemographic war waged by the State of Israeland the Jerusalem Municipality against the Palestinian populationannexedin 1967.
In 2007 the Ministry of the Interior and the Municipality demolished 84 Palestinian homes in areas that were annexed to Jerusalem in 1967. Some 500 people became homeless.
Two demolitions are especially interesting to note because of their timing: The day following the Annapolis event, the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the home of 'Ali Abu Sirhan, inthe East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sawahra. 12 people lost their home.
On Christmas Day, 25/12/07, the Municipality demolished the home of 'Awiwi family. Seven people were made homeless.
The Palestinian village 'Azun Atme is situated west of the separation barrier in a fenced enclave. About 3,000 people live in the village. Nearly 4,000 dunums (dunum = 1000 m^2) were stolen from the village for the settlements Sha'arey Tikva and Oranit. A further 500 dunums were confiscated for the fence. The village is left with 7,500 dunums.
A gate in the fence leading to the rest of the West Bank is opened between 6am to 10pm. The village market, once frequented by the inhabitants of the area, had to close because passage is denied to people who do not reside in the village. On the night between Friday and Saturday, December 14, 2007, a woman with labor pains arrived at the gate accompanied by her mother and husband. They asked the soldiers to help them pass through quickly. The soldiers called an army patrol to let them through. While waiting for the patrol to arrive she gave birth at the gate.
Two months ago there was a similar case. A woman in labor arrived, asked to be let through, but eventually had to return to give birth at home.
In February 2007 a person injured in a tractor accident arrived. The soldiers delayed his passage through the gate and he consequently died from loss of blood.
Administrative detention (ie imprisonment without trial) negates a person's liberty, and his basic right to defend himself against accusations. This procedure enables the authorities to detain people without trial, based on classified information, for an undetermined period of time. Today there are nearly 900 Palestinians under administrative detention.
W.A. is a journalist from the newspaper "Palestine". He has been detained since June 2007, and his term has been extended until May 2008. During his detention he has been in solitary confinement, without that fact being made known to his family or lawyer.
S.R. was sentenced to imprisonment in March 2002. On finishing his sentence, in October 2004, he was transferred to administrative detention, where he has remained until today. The authorities claim that he runs terrorist activities from the prison. He has no means of communication with the outside world. A.L.S. was arrested following testimony by a collaborator suffering from mental illness. The collaborator stated that A.L.S.'s brother taught him to prepare bombs on his return from Kuwait. He was arrested in November 2004, underwent tough interrogation for a month, and then put in administrative detention. The brother was detained as well, and then released. A.L.S. is still in prison. So far eleven administrative detention orders have been issued against him (the orders must be renewed every few months). The authorities have prevented the three detainees from receiving any visits.
On Tuesday, 11th December, 2007, police forces demolished 15 homes of Bedouins in the Negev. In Twail Abu Jarwal, they demolished four tents and four tin shacks. In addition, they demolished seven more homes, near El Sara, Tel 'Arad, Abu Tlul Ashab, Bir El Hamam, El Bat and two homes in El Madbah.
In 1986 the IDF expelled Palestinian Susya farmers - sixty families - from their village. The reason given was that they lived near an antiquities site, which had been declared an official site. They were given no alternative. Some went to live on their agricultural land, while some went to live in Yatta. In 2001, they were again evicted, but returned under an order of the Supreme Court. Since then, they have suffered from continuing harassments of the Jewish settlers of Susya, who want to drive them off their land.
Yasser is one of the original Susya residents. After the eviction, he moved to Yatta. He continued to return to work his land; he owns an olive grove. On Thursday, 6th December, 2007, a resident of Palestinian Susya found that 32 of Yasser's trees had been cut down, presumably by settlers from a nearby outpost, where they had celebrated the lighting of the third Hanukka candle.
The attacks by the IDF on Azzun continue. Almost daily, soldiers enter the village, throw stun grenades, and provoke students when they get out of school (see 'Don't say' nr 84). Often they impose a curfew on the village.
On 23rd November, 2007, the soldiers attacked human rights activistswho tried to document their activities. On 27th November, the IDF entered the village, shot three pupils on their way home, wounding them, including one who was seriously wounded. After that, they searched a house for a wanted person, shot inside the house and causedbad damage. They arrested two youngsters of the family and beat them. After interrogation they released one of them, and detained the other. At that point, they again beat up human rights activists who tried to document their actions.
--The prisoner Amana Muna is on hungerstrike to protest against her imprisonment conditions and the abuses of the gaolers: beatings, solitary confinement, fines, prevention of visits of family and attorney, to name but a few.
For a while she was the spokesperson of the security prisoners, and then was punished for their actions as well. For 14 months she has been in solitary confinement in harsh unhygenic conditions. There are many cockroaches and other insects in her cell. She was transferred to Kishon detention centre when Neve Tirtza prison (the women's prison) underwent renovations. She hoped for better conditions and stopped the hungerstrike. Soon she discovered that nothing had changed so she started the hungerstrike again. She was brought in a wheelchair to her lawyer's last visit.
--On Wednesday, 21st November, 2007, the state again demolished Bedouins' homes in the Negev, on this occasion in the village 'Abda. Two homes and half of another home were demolished. Two families and a single person living alone – a total of 13 people – were made homeless.
--For three months now, IDF soldiers have been provoking pupils at the school in the Palestinian village 'Azzun (some 10 km east of the Green Line). Almost daily, the soldiers arrive with a jeep near the school, before it ends. If any pupil throws stones, they impose a curfew on the whole village. Two weeks ago, two stun grenades were thrown into the school yard during studies. On 9th November, the soldiers caught a boy, beat him up, and took him for arrest. The next day they entered an internet cafe, where they beat and arrested four youngsters. On 13th November, they announced that they would use live ammunution on children throwing stones.
On Sunday, 18th November, an IDF jeep entered the school yard, stopping at the main building. Teachers who went out to ask the soldiers to leave were threatened with weapons aimed at them. The villagers suspect that the provocations are being made to prove to the Supreme Court a security need for construction of the "fence" there, that will block the exit of Road 55.
--On Thursday, 15th November, 2007, police forces demolished two houses in the Bedouin village Tel-'Arad. One had just been built and was still uninhabited. The other was home to a family of eight people. The police also demolished the home of seven people, in the Bedouin village El-Za'arura, and another uninhabited house there.
--The village El-Nu'eman (Mazmuriyya) is in an odd situation. After the 1967 war, Israel annexed the village to Jerusalem. Its inhabitants were mistakenly registered as residents of Umm A-Tale which was not annexed to Jerusalem. Instead of correcting that bureaucratic mistake, the state is exploiting it to evict the inhabitants from their homes.
The trouble started in 1992. Inspectors from the Ministry of Interior informed the residents that they must not build new homes or expand those already built. In 1993, Israel imposed a closure on the Occupied Territories, in effect until today. The inhabitants of El-Nu'eman became illegal dwellers in their own homes. In 1996, their children were kicked out of their school in Umm Tuba (a village annexed to Jerusalem) on the pretext that they were not Jerusalem residents but rather of the Occupied Territories. The villagers receive no municipal services from the municipality of Jerusalem, except for large fines for unrecognised construction. In 2006, the authorities demolished two homes in the village. In 2003, work started on the separation fence there, which blocks the villagers' connection and access to Bethlehem; the road to Jerusalem was previously blocked, before then. Every entry or exit from the village is dependent on the whim of Border Police units. Visitors are prevented from entering.
--The Israeli government continues its war against its Bedouin citizens in the Negev. On Wednesday, two homes were demolished in the village Bir El-Hammam. A widow with six children, and a couple with two kids, were rendered homeless. In El-Grayn, a house was demolished which had been home to six people. In El-Zarnuq, a home for a newly-wed couple was demolished.
--The Israeli government treats its Bedouin citizens as if they were herds of cattle. It moves them arbitrarily from where they live to other places, and then does not recognise those villages where they live. When the Bedouin carry out their basic right to have a roof over their heads, the state criminalises them. And then it wants to move them once more, to townships.
--Wadi ElNa'am has 5,000 residents. Some lived there before the state was established, some were moved there in 1953. In 1976, the national toxic waste dump, Ramat Hovav, was created near the village, on the other side of the road. In 1985, a power station was built inside the village (despite which, the village has not benefitted). In the 1990s, munition factories were built in Ramat Beqa; these plants are the greatest danger to the villagers. Recently, the state has been negotiating with the inhabitants to move them somewhere else. During the negotiations, the police demolished eleven homes on Thursday, 1st November, 2007. Seven were homes of newlyweds and the others were intended soon to be inhabited.
--The Bedouin village A-Sar was built before the State's independence. Whenever the industrial zone at Emeq Sara has been expanded, those Bedouin residents living nearby have been kicked out.
On Thursday, 1st November, 2007, the police demolished four homes in A-Sar.
There are 400 residents in the Palestinian village Jalud, a village which once owned 16,000 dunums (dunum = 1000 sq.m.). Israel stole 12,000 dunums which are now used by the settlements Shilo, Shvut Rachel and Achia, and the outposts Adei Ad and Esh Kodesh. One tough case is that of Fawzi Ibrahim 'Abed Haj Muhammad. He once owned 12,000 dunums of land and most has been taken, while much of the remaining land is situated between those settlements or near them, and so he cannot reach it. Any time he or anyone from his family has tried to cultivate the land, he or she has been attacked by settlers who have driven him away. Each year he is required to prove ownership of his land. Last Saturday (27th October, 20007) when his family went to harvest the olives on one of the plots, they were attacked by settlers. When the army arrived, it demanded proof of ownership. Until the inquiries are completed, the family is forbidden from entering the land and harvesting the olives. Settler attacks have, for some years now, prevented Fawzi from entering most of his land.
--The mercy days of Ramadan are over. The demolitions are back. Wednesday, 24th October, 2007, police forces arrived at the village Twail Abu Jarwal (near Goral junction in the Negev) and demolished it, yet again. They arrived with lorries and tractors and loaded the demolished tents so the inhabitants will not be able to use them again. The State does not have any place to house the residents. When the victims are Bedouin citizens of Israel that fact is not enough to prevent the demolition.
--After having finished with Twail Abu Jarwal the police went to the protest tent of Nuri ElUqbi. Nuri demands that his tribe, ElUqbi, can return to its land, a few kilometres south of Rahat, as they were promised when the IDF evicted them in 1951. Nuri was arrested, and his tent and equipment were taken. A few hours later he was released.
--Even after the withdrawal from the Gaza strip, Israel still controls the area's entries and exits. Today there are 6,400 Gazans who want to leave the strip for various reasons, and Israel is preventing them from doing so. Amongst them are 680 who are students wanting to study abroad. Gaza has become a prison.
--Wissam Ghazi Abu Jawa finished his BSc (chemistry) studies at the Islamic University in Gaza in 1998. He decided to continue his MSc studies, in environmental studies. In 2001, he was admitted to the Israeli Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, but the IDF prevented him from attending. In 2003 he was admitted to the University of Goettingen, for environmental studies. Again, his exit was prevented by the IDF. In 2006 he was admitted to the University of Nottingham. Again the IDF interfered. He tried again in 2007 and the IDF, yet again, prevented his exit.
The Israeli authorities do not claim any "security" danger as to Mr. Abu Jawa.
--On the night of 1st October, 2007, at around 01:30 a.m., an IDF force entered the Palestinian village Dir Istya in the Salfit region. The soldiers searched a few houses and arrested three youngsters.
--And here is a description of what happened in one of the houses: the soldiers threw stones at the door and windows of the house. They broke a window and damaged the door and the surrounding wall. When the father opened the door, four soldiers entered and started beating him, his wife, and their 22-year old daughter. Their 19-year old son they tied up, and took to a military vehicle a few hundred metres away. They beat and assaulted him on the way. The rest of the family, eight people, were removed from the house. Four soldiers then searched the house, which they did whilst damaging and destroying the contents and generally "trashing" the home.
Settlers from Maon farm in the South Hebron Hills don't stop attacking their Palestinian neighbours. On Friday, 28th September, 2007, two shepherds from the cave village Mufaqra went out with their herd. Four international human rights activists accompanied them. At 07:00, 15 settlers appeared, coming from the direction of Maon farm. Three of them covered their faces and started to attack the shepherds and their accompaniers. They threw stones and threatened the lives of the shepherds and their group. One of the attackers snatched a video camera from the hands of a human rights activist. The police and the army arrived only after 40 minutes. One of the human rights activists filed a complaint at the Qiryat Arba police station...
--Settlers from the area of Havat Maon, in the South Hebron Hills, continue to attack Palestinian residents of Tuba, in order to expell them from their village and land. On Sunday, 23rd September, 2007, in the late afternoon, ten settlers entered Tuba and started to attack the villagers. For nearly an hour, they threw stones at them, their homes and property, and hit a woman and her son. At 17:30 human rights activists summoned the police to the village. The police only arrived at 19:30, long after the attackers had left.
--On Tuesday, 25th September, 2007, clerks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs again came to the village of Twail Abu Jarwal, and delivered demolition orders to all the houses there.
--Meanwhile, the Green Patrol has demolished, again, the tent of Nuri ElUqbi. Since Nuri started his protest on his village land, the authorities have demolished his tent numerous times. Nuri is determined to continue his struggle so his people regain their land.
For earlier ones, click here