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From the field

The village of al-Hadidiyah

The village of al-Hadidiyah is located in the northern Jordan Valley, near the settlement of Ro'i, on land leased from residents of Tubas. The village's approximately ninety residents earn their living as shepherds and farmers. The village is not hooked up to the water grid and its average water consumption is twenty liters per person per day - far less than the 100 liters per person per day recommended by the World Health Organization. The village is cut off from any regular water supply despite its proximity to a Mekorot (Israeli national water company) pump (Beqa’ot 2), which provides water to the nearby settlements of Ro’i and Beqa’ot. The per diem water allotment per person in these settlements, for household use alone, is over 460 liters – at least 23 times the consumption of water in al-Hadidiyah.

On 21 June 2011 the civil administration demolished 8 structures in the village of al-Hadidiyah, leaving 36 people, including 15 minors, homeless. The demolition was filmed by B'Tselem filed researcher 'Ataf Abu a-Rub

Before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, residents of al-Hadidiyah lived a few kilometers east of the village's current location, but the site was declared a firing zone and the residents were ordered to vacate it in 1997. A petition to the High Court of Justice the residents filed against the expulsion was rejected in 2003, and they were forced to leave. However, the Civil Administration issued demolition orders for structures built in the new location as well, claiming it was agricultural land. A petition the villagers filed in March 2004 against the Civil Administration's policy in their village was rejected in December 2006, after the Court declined to intervene in the considerations of the Civil Administration. The justices accepted the arguments presented by the military and the Civil Administration for prioritizing the evacuation of al-Hadidiyah: a security argument regarding the village's proximity to the settlement of Ro'i  and a planning argument, based on the concern that the tents are in fact "the beginnings of a village", contrary to the area's agricultural zoning.

Since then, the Civil Administration has demolished the village homes several times. Some of the recent demolitions, in June 2011, were carried out on the grounds that the villagers were in a firing zone. The area of the village, however, is not defined as a firing zone. According to testimonies collected from residents, they had never encountered military exercises in the area and this argument was not brought up by the State in its response to the residents’ March 2004 petition.