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The Israeli occupation forces ran a demolition rampage throughout the Massafer Yatta villages in the South Hebron Hills, and in addition to many dwellings and various service structures, they also severed the water main that supplied the area’s communities and was donated by humanitarian organizations at a cost of about 100,000 Euro; the army violently dispersed Palestinian activists’ protest against the horrifying destruction of Humsa – 2 people were injured by rubber-coated bullets, another 17 from inhaling teargas; activists blocked the entrance to Heidelberg Cement quarry at ‘Sha’ar Shomron’ (Hebrew for Samaria Gate) for 3 hours and prevented the passage of trucks, protesting the quarry works in an occupied area; Jewish settler-colonists broke into the nursery at A-Sawiya village yet again, stole equipment and wrought extensive damage; imminent danger again looms over Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Batan Al Hawa in the Silwan, following a series of Jerusalem court rulings in favor of the settler-colonist associations;
photo: Forces of the Israeli Civil Administration in action in Massafer Yatta, November 25, 2020
South Hebron Hills
On Wednesday, November 25, Israeli occupation forces went on a massive destruction operation throughout the Massafer Yatta area: in Rakiz the DCO demolished 2 dwellings of a 6-person family – among them the house which settler-colonists of ‘Havat-Ma’on’ invaded last Saturday – as well as a farming structure. In Sarura, they demolished an outhouse, and at Khalat A-Dhaba – 2 dwellings under construction that were to be inhabited by 2 families (11 persons, among them 7 children), and a structure containing an outhouse and a kitchen. At Mughayar Al-Abid they demolished 2 structures for farming use, and an outhouse, and at Hinba they destroyed a water tank and part of a fence, and uprooted 4 olive trees. The height of this military operation was in cutting a water main about 2 kilometers long, that had provided water for the communities of Fakhit, Safai, Mughayar Al-Abid and Taban. The cost of laying this water main had come to approximately 100,00 Euro, donated by humanitarian organizations. The occupation army already disrupted the main water pipr leading to Massafer Yatta in February 2019 and it has been repaired and renovated since, and in October 2020 the Civil Administration damaged an internal supply pipe that provided water to the communities of Mughayar Al Abid and Majaz.
On Friday, November 27, a group of activists began helping to remove the rubble from the demolitions at Rakiz, and on Saturday activists helped remove demolition rubble in Rakiz and Khalat A-Dhaba. Army and Civil Administration forces arrived at Rakiz at that time, demanding to cease the works and threatened to confiscate work tools. However, they left as the inhabitants and activists insisted that there is no writ forbidding the removal of rubble.
On Saturday, November 28, once again settler-colonists with their flocks invaded the privately owned land of Palestinian Susya inhabitants, closed to Israelis by writ of the regional commander, and again – as happened the previous week – army forces present refused to be involved in any way. The inhabitants and activists turned to the Israeli police and the DCO. Only after a while, and under the threat that more activists would arrive at the scene of this invasion, did the army forces remove the settler-colonist from the area.
Again, a Palestinian who came to his lands in Umm Al Ara’is, found a settler-colonist wandering around his fields that are also closed to Israelis by writ of the regional commander. At the request of the landowner to leave the field the settler-colonist refused verbally abused him. A Border Police unit present at the time refused to order the settler-colonist out, claiming he was only hiking around.
At Umm Zaitouna, activists accompanied plowing on Saturday. During work hours, time and again settler-colonists and soldiers arrived on the scene, but did not interfere with the work.
Palestinian Jordan Valley
On Wednesday, November 25, while demolitions were ongoing in the South Hebron Hills, the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated a shack in Jiftlik, serving as the dwelling of a couple, as well as an outhouse and a water tank that had been donated to the couple by a humanitarian aid organization, after their dwelling had been demolished about a month ago.
On Tuesday Palestinian activists held a demonstration protesting the horrifying destruction at Humsa. Occupation forces violently dispersed the demonstration and detained activists at Tyassir Checkpoint. According to the Red Crescent report, at least 2 Palestinians were wounded by Rubber-coated bullets, and about 17 were injured by inhaling teargas.
On Friday, activists accompanied shepherds at Hamra close to the new settler-colonist outpost being erected there. Soldiers coming to the scene demanded of the shepherd and his accompaniers to leave, claiming they were inside a firing zone. On the other hand, settler-colonists who sped to the site on a motorcycle and ran havoc among the sheep did not disturb the same soldiers, nor the fact that another settler-colonist approached the activists’ vehicle, and cut one of its tires.
Last week at Makhoul it was reported that the Israeli authorities confiscated a tractor that was used for plowing.
That same Wednesday, the occupation forces were also busily active in Fasail, in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley, confiscating the foundation of 2 shacks that were to be inhabited by an extended family of 7 persons, among them 2 children, donated by humanitarian aid organizations, after the Civil Administration demolished their former shacks a few months ago. In addition, 2 dwelling shacks were demolished of a 10-person family, among them 4 children, as well as a kitchen and outhouse, a fence and an electricity network, as well as 8 additional shacks that had served 2 families and contained a bathroom, storage space for feed, a horses’ stall, a chicken coop and baking ovens. During the destruction actions the forces damaged animal feed.
At Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied shepherds on Monday, unhampered, but on Thursday, during such accompaniment, soldiers arrived equipped with their usual falsehoods: that the grazing ground is a closed military zone (it is not), that it belongs to a settler-colonist (the area is owned by the Palestinian Waqf and the settler-colonist does as he pleases there, without any legal rights). Their appearance made the shepherds deep their distance and leave. It was also reported that the security official of settler-colony ‘Mevo’ot Jericho’ holds deference patrols in areas near Nu’eima, far away from own territory, and also reaches the homes of the Palestinian shepherds.
On Sunday, November22, activists blocked the entrance to the Heidelberg Cement quarry at Sha’ar Shomron (Samaria Gate) for over 3 hours and prevented the passage of about 20 trucks. The activists protested quarrying in an occupied area – prohibited by international law, and also demanded to halt the plans of expanding the quarrying and industry in the area, an expansion that would wreak irreversible damage to the ecological corridor of the center of the country.
See Haaretz newspaper item here:
During the wave of demolitions on Wednesday, occupation forces also destroyed a building under construction at the Palestinian village of Luban A-Gharbiya (Ramallah district) as well as a shack that served as a garage. That same night, a 2-story dwelling was demolished in the Hebron area, close to the settler-colony ‘Beit Hagai’.
Last Friday, again 4 settler-colonists broke into the nursery at A-Sawiya village (Salfit district), stealing equipment and causing extensive damage. According to the Israeli press, one of them was arrested by the police and the vehicle in which they traveled was seized.
After a series of Jerusalem court rulings this month in favor of the settler-colonist association ‘Ateret Kohanim’ and the firm of ‘Nahalat Shim’on’, 5 families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (Sabbagh, Al-Kurd, Sakafi, Ja’uni and Al Hasana, numbering 48 people altogether) and another 3 families (Dweik, Odeh and Shweiki, also numbering 48 persons) at the Batan Al Hawa neighborhood of Silwan – are at the risk of being immediately evicted, in addition to paying hundreds of thousands of shekels as ‘reparations’ to settler-colonists who claim ownership of the land since the 19th-century. These rulings constitute a catastrophic precedent that might doom dozens of other Palestinian families in various phases of eviction suit by ‘Ateret Kohanim’ and ‘Nahalt Shaim’on’.
The legal proceedings are based on typical apartheid laws that do not enable Palestinians to demand reclaiming their property inside Israel, but grant Jews the right to reclaim property in East Jerusalem that was lost in 1948, although they did receive alternative property from the State of Israel at the time. If this phase is completed, hundreds of Palestinians will be expelled from their homes in East Jerusalem, and entire communities will be replaced by Jewish settler-colonies, especially in the area named ‘the holy basin’ surrounding the Temple Mount. After about a decade during which evictions in Sheikh Jarrah were nearly halted, this is a critical moment for protest in the neighborhood in particular, and in East Jerusalem in general.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah takes place every Friday. The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are protesting their violent evictions from their homes, the taking over of the neighborhood by the settlers, and the Judaization of East Jerusalem. They call upon each and every person who supports their struggle to join them.