Home demolitions in the Jordan Valley, 21st June, 2011

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Yifat D. (reporting), Keren M. (photographing)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


At six AM this morning, two army bulldozers, accompanied by five jeeps and two DCO cars arrived at the tent dwellings of al-Hadidye tribe in the Jordan Valley with ill intentions. The tent dwellings of residents here and in the surrounding area have been demolished time and again by the Israeli army. The underlying objective of these tireless efforts is the displacement of Palestinian inhabitants of the area in order to maintain Israeli control over it.

Residents were ordered to keep away from their dwellings and forbidden to collect their personal belongings as machines climbed over their homes. In total about 30 structures (including animal shelters and stone ovens) were demolished, four families of the tribe affected.

A lawyer appointed by the residents to speak on their behalf before the Israeli courts was inside a courtroom at the time attempting to prevent the demolitions. Over the phone he asked to speak to the commanders of the operation to dissuade them through legal discourse. But the army men refused to speak to him and threatened the phone bearer with violence.

Then all vehicles turned to Hirbet Yaghza, another locality, where they proceeded to destroy seven more structures and their immobile contents.

Yesterday three more demolition orders were handed to home owners in the village of al-Jifthlik also in the Valley.

And in the community of al-Fassayel where several days ago 18 homes belonging to 11 families were demolished, the people are struggling to make do with what was left. Make-shift tents and simple trees provide as roofs. No clothes, no kitchen utensils, no water tanks, no electricity. Only two tents supplied by the Red Cross which hardly meet the needs of the folk and leave them wondering- if area C is so fucking important why isn’t anyone helping out?