|Large-scale demolitions in several locations; an entire community displaced |
On 16 September, the Israeli authorities demolished all residential and livelihood structures (except two fodder storage rooms and a solar panel) in the Bedouin community of Mak-hul in the Jordan Valley due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. The 58 structures, included ten residential tents, 28 animal shacks and pens, nine kitchens, nine latrines, a storage room and a zinc shade that was used as a kindergarten (which was partially demolished). Some of these structures were funded by international donors. As a result, ten families comprising 48 people, including 16 children, were displaced. In the course of the demolitions, a number of animal troughs and small water tanks as well as personal belongings were buried under the rubble.
After the demolition incident, the Israeli authorities declared Mak-hul as a “closed military zone”, prohibiting the families to return back to their community until 6 am the next day. Despite the order, the majority of the residents remained in the immediate vicinity of the demolition site and spent the night there in the open, along with their herds (approx. 1,700 sheep). A truck carrying humanitarian assistance was seized by Israeli forces staffing Tayasir checkpoint (which controls access to the Jordan Valley in the northern West Bank). Initial field reports indicate that this is the first demolition incident experienced by this community.
Earlier this week, on 11 September, the Israeli authorities demolished 18 structures, including eight residences, five animal structures, three kitchens and two storage rooms, in Az Zayim Bedouin community in Jerusalem, due to the lack of building permits. As a result, seven families comprising 13 people, including eight children, were displaced and their livelihoods affected.
Also this week, in the village of Barta’a Asharqiya (Jenin), located in the closed area between the Barrier and the Green Line, three livelihood structures, including two car repair workshops and one structure under construction, intended for commercial uses, were demolished, affecting 45 people. In addition, in Al ‘Aqaba village (Tubas), three residential tents, one animal structure and personal belongings were damaged, after an Israeli military helicopter descended near the structures during a military training. As a result, 19 people, including ten children, were affected.
In addition on 12 September, Israeli forces uprooted over 600 trees and seedlings of guava, olive and citrus in Ras ‘Atiya and Ad Dab’a villages (both in Qalqiliya). While reasons for damaging the trees are not yet clear, the affected farmers from the nearby villages claim ownership over the land.