This morning, 19 October 2020, at around 7:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort, a bulldozer and a digger to the community of Khirbet a-Rakeez in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills. The forces confiscated a tent that housed a family of five, including three children. The tent was donated to the family by the a-Tuwani village council after Israel demolished their home on 30 September 2020.
From there, the forces continued south to the community of Khirbet al-Fakhit and demolished a tin-roofed cinderblock structure that housed a family of four, including one child. The home was built with international humanitarian aid. Before the forces left, they destroyed a livestock pen and a storage tent owned by the same family.
The forces continued to an area located between Khirbet Khilet a-Dabe’ and Khirbet al-Mufaqarah, where they cut a 2.5-kilometer stretch of piping used to supply water to Masafer Yatta communities.
On Wednesday morning, 30 September 2020, at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort, a bulldozer and a digger to the community of She’b al-Batem in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills. The forces demolished two tin-roofed cinder block structures that were home to two families, 14 people in total. The demolition left 10 children, one of them with a physical disability, homeless.
The forces continued north to the community of Khirbet a-Rakeez, where they demolished four tin-roofed cinder block structures that were home to four families numbering 17 people in total, including 10 minors and a woman with special needs. The homes demolished in both communities were built with funding from the West Bank Protection Consortium.
On thursday, 27 February 2020, at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort, military jeeps, a bulldozer and a digger to the Palestinian community of Khirbet a-Safai a-Tahta in the area of Masafer Yatta, which lies in the South Hebron Hills. About 22 people live in the community. The forces demolished a shack used as a livestock pen and an outdoor livestock enclosure owned by two members of the community.
They then proceeded westwards to Khirbet al-Mufaqarah, which is home to some 73 residents, where they demolished a tin-roofed cinderblock structure housing a family of three. From there they turned north to Khirbet a-Rakeez, home to 15 people, where they demolished another tin-roofed cinderblock structure housing a family of nine, including five children. Both residences had been donated by a humanitarian aid organization.
The demolitions were executed pursuant to Military Order 1797, which was issued in April of 2018 and removed the semblance of judicial review.
On Wednesday, 11 September 2019, at around 8:00 A.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel arrived with soldiers, Border Police officers, a bulldozer and three diggers at the Masafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills. In Khirbet al-Mufaqarah, the forces demolished three pre-fabricated buildings and a tent that had housed four families, 18 people in all, including eight children. The forces also confiscated a car belonging to the Masafer Yatta Council, claiming it had entered a firing zone. From there the forces proceeded to Khirbet Sarurah where they demolished a utility structure owned by a family from Yatta who farm land in the region. They then continued southwards, to Khirbet Khilet a-Dabe’, where they demolished two cinder block and concrete structures used as housing for two families with a total of nine members, including five children. The forces also demolished a water cistern belonging to one of the families.
Some of the forces also went to the community of She’b al-Batem and, for the fifth time this year, dug deep trenches and placed boulders to block access from Route 317 to two roads that serve the community’s residents to get to the town of Yatta. In addition, the forces used trenches and boulders in several locations to block off a dirt road leading from Route 317 to the communities a-Tuwani, Kh. a-Rakeez, Kh. al-Mufaqarah, Kh. Sarurah, Kh. Khilet a-Dabe’, Kh. al-Fakhit and Kh. a-Taban, impacting other communities as well. Demolitions and restrictions of movement are part of a series of abusive measures the authorities have been taking against local residents, in a bid to expel them from the area and their homes.
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.