This morning, Monday, 23 January 2017, Civil Administration forces arrived at the small shepherding community of Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah, living some 5 km southwest of the Palestinian village al-Jiftlik, in the Jordan Valley. The community is home to three families. The forces demolished tents used as living quarters by two of them, leaving 13 people, including six minors, without a roof over their heads. The forces also destroyed two livestock pens and razed part of the access road leading to the isolated community. In February 2016, the authorities demolished three tents in the community, and destroyed its access road. Over the course of 2015, the Civil Administration destroyed homes in the community on two different occasions, lastly in March, when they also razed the access road. The Civil Administration demolished structures in the community in 2014 as well. In 1972, the military declared the area where Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah is located a closed military zone (No. 904), claiming it needed it as a training zone.
On Monday, 2 January 2017, Civil Administration forces came to two communities located north of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, Wadi Esneisel and Bir al-Maskub. In the former, they demolished the homes of six families, numbering 48 people, including 34 minors, and a livestock pen. Some of these families had already lost their homes in August 2015, when the authorities demolished seven homes in the community. In Bir al-Maskub, the authorities demolished the homes of four families numbering 30 people, including 18 minors. Some of these families had lost their homes in a previous demolition in April 2016. The next day, on Tuesday, 3 January, Civil Administration forces came to the community of Khirbet Tana, located close to Beit Furik, and demolished structures that belong to 14 families, including six homes. The demolitions left 29 people, 15 of them minors, homeless. The forces also demolished 16 livestock pens. In 2016, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 79 structures in the community on four separate occasions.
Since Sept. some 220 Palestinians (incl. about 100 minors) have been forced to leave their homes in the Jordan Valley on multiple occasions to make way for military training. Families from Ibziq, Khirbet Humsah and Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar have had to spend hours on end, or even all night, far from home and exposed to the elements. The frequency of these displacements completely disrupts residents’ lives and jeopardizes the very existence of these communities. As an occupying power, Israel cannot use the land for routine military purposes, harm the livelihood of protected persons on this pretext, or attempt to expel the residents.
Today, 20 Nov. 2016, Civil Administration officials handed evacuation orders to 14 families in Ibziq, north of Tubas. The families, 78 people, including 42 minors are to evacuate from Monday early afternoon to Tuesday morning, and for the same time Tuesday to Wednesday. They will have to spend two nights outside, away from home. The military has been training extensively throughout the Jordan Valley in recent weeks, turning out scores of residents in Palestinian communities in these areas, which Israel defines as firing zones.
In recent weeks, the military has held several maneuvers in residential areas or grazing land belonging to Palestinian communities. Israel claims that the areas are “firing zones,” despite the fact that these communities have lived and worked on the land for many years. The repeated displacement threatens the ability of residents to continue living in the communities. As an occupying power, Israel may not use land for general military purposes, and certainly must not displace the residents or damage their livelihood on these grounds.
On Thurs. Nov. 11, Civil Administration forces arrived at the community of Khirbet Tall al-Himma, located in the northern Jordan Valley, south of ‘Ein al-Beida. The forces dismantled six tents and confiscated them together with two tents that had not been pitched yet. Three of the tents had been used as dwellings by members of the community, and the rest were used as livestock pens. These structures were donated to the community this week by a humanitarian aid agency, after the Civil Administration demolished these families’ homes on 27 September 2016, leaving 25 people, 10 of them minors, homeless.
Three communities targeted today as part of Israel’s confiscation and demolition campaign. Jordan Valley: In Kh. a-Deir, forces demolished the homes of 14 people, 4 are minors. In a-Ras al-Ahmar, forces confiscated tractors used for hauling water and feed for livestock. In Wadi al-Qatif, in the Ma'ale Adumim area, forces confiscated water tanks and portable toilets. In the campaign, launched in 2016 in a bid to expel Palestinian communities, Israel has so far demolished 255 homes, and left 1,076 people homeless, including 557 minors.
On 9 Oct. 2016, Israeli authorities demolished a total of 18 homes in the communities of al-Kurshan, near the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, and a-Ras al-Ahmar, in the Jordan Valley, leaving 52 people – including 23 minors – homeless. In the latter, they also demolished 17 livestock pens. In the massive demolition campaign it has waged since the beginning of 2016, Israel has thus far demolished 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving 1,062 people, including 553 minors, homeless.
On 27 Sept. 2016, Israel demolished 22 structures, half of them homes, in five West Bank communities: in the northern Jordan Valley, near Ma’ale Adumim, the South Hebron Hills, and East Jerusalem. This left 56 Palestinians, including 30 minors, homeless. The authorities also demolished water cisterns, livestock pens, and part of a school. This is part of a massive demolition campaign to pressure Palestinians to leave Area C that has, since the beginning of 2016, left 1,010 people homeless, including 530 minors.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 31 August 2016), military and Civil Administration forces arrived in the afternoon in the community of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat to the northwest of Jericho. The forces dismantled and confiscated three residential caravans, a shack used for raising livestock, and mobile toilet facilities. All the structures were donated to the families by a humanitarian aid organization after the Israeli authorities demolished their homes on 4 August 2016. The destruction left 14 people homeless, including three minors. Fatima Malihat, whose home was demolished, stated in her testimony to B'Tselem: “They don’t want us to stay here. They are fighting to stop us making a living. Where should we go? They have demolished our home several times and they chase us wherever we go. Our life has become bitter and dark and we haven’t had a single good day. We are afraid even to put up a tent because they will just destroy it. Where should we go? We don’t have anywhere to go. Wherever we go to, they expel us.”
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.