Khalt Makhoul, Hamra, Tayasir , 19 Mars 2015
On Wednesday, 18.3.15, housing and sheepfolds were again demolished in Khalat Makhoul.
We loaded the car with plastic rolls and sheeting which we’d received as a donation a few months ago, for the residents of Khalat Makhoul to rebuild the structures.
12:30 Bezeq checkpoint. We crossed.
We know where we’re headed, but it’s still impossible not to be amazed by the profusion of colors
and the glorious flowers. Nature’s wonders, seemingly independent of human evil.
12:45 Khalt Makhoul. We see the new destruction, the pictures repeating themselves. Piles of metal siding next to beds, blankets, remains of a kitchen and an elderly woman seated in the rubble. We asked about Y. and A. Y. went out with the flock. We met A., his wife (who’s pregnant) and the little children (who don’t yet attend school).
We saw metal frames, screens and rigid plastic sheeting. Some are lying about, waiting to be put together, and one or two have already been constructed and shelter the lambs (“a gift from Salam Fayyad,” we were told).
We sat in a tent with an investigator from Al-Haq (“Truth”). He spoke with A. He asked about the demolished structures and about what remained and documented it all on the appropriate forms. He noted the destruction of the kitchen and the living area. They slept outside one or two nights. The animals weren’t injured.
They told us: Before the bulldozers arrived people came and removed everything from the house and threw it on the ground outside. They were apparently referring to Civil Administration personnel.
We left and returned immediately behind a military jeep that showed up there. An officer and two soldiers informed A. that he must leave, because within an hour they’ll come to demolish all the structures that have been rebuilt, and if he wants he “can demolish them by himself.” (!)
In response to our question he said the demolition team will have demolition permits. A. told him they have a court permit, and the court hadn’t yet issued a decision regarding the previous demolition. The officer ignored what he said and claimed the new structures, erected within two days after the last demolition, surely have no permits.
14:15 Hamra checkpoint
Five male and two female soldiers. The commander arrives to ask who we are. He never heard of Machsom Watch. Meanwhile, a line of ten vehicles forms: three tourist buses with girls; minibuses and buses with laborers; private cars. They go through relatively quickly.
14:45 We left.
15:00 Khalt Makhoul
We saw a photographer and two Red Cross jeeps (they came from Nablus; we recognize them from previous shifts). The Al-Haq investigator said that the inhabitants were in touch with the attorneys and he expects the soldiers to arrive in the next few hours. A. and Y. were busy repairing the sheepfolds. We said goodbye to the children, and left.
15:40 Tayasir checkpoint.
Taxis and cars bringing workers back home. An improvised checkpoint in the lane going east, made of camouflage netting, an Israeli flag stretched across it. On both sides of it, on the traffic island, fly Kfir brigade pennants. The soldiers proudly explained that “Yes! We’re making a statement!” The display looks to me like a memorial to Zionism.