Israel demolishes seven structures with High Court approval: Twenty people lose their homes in Khirbet al-Markez, South Hebron Hills, 2 December 2021
On Thursday, 2 December 2021, at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel accompanied by soldiers and equipped with a bulldozer arrived at Khirbet al-Markaz in the area of Masafer Yatta, in the South Hebron Hills. The forces demolished four tin-roofed stone structures, which housed four families with a total number of 20 members, including six minors. The forces also demolished three agricultural structures made of tin that were owned by one of the families.
The Civil Administration issued the demolition orders back in 2014 alleging the homes were located inside Firing Zone 918. The Planning Council has rejected a detailed plan submitted by the residents since. On 17 November 2021, the HCJ dismissed the residents’ appeal against the demolition.
In the early 1980s, Israel declared an area of about 3,000 hectares in the South Hebron Hills known as Masafer Yatta a restricted military zone and dubbed it ‘Firing Zone 918’. Dozens of Palestinian families had been living in the area for years, since before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. They lived in 12 small villages, in natural or man-made caves, some all year round and others only seasonally, and earned a living as farmers and shepherds.