This morning, around 6am, civil Administration and army forces demolished the homes of four families numbering 32 people, of them 21 minorsat the a-Sa'idi community, near a-Za'ayem. The forces then moved to the abu-Falah community, in the Khan al-Ahmar area, and demolished a residential shack housing two people and a structure used to house guests. Later the authorities demolished 12 structures in the adjacent Bir al-Maksub and Wadi Shneisel communities, nine of them residential homes. Authorities leave the residents and herds with no shelter in harsh weather conditions.
This morning, 11 August 2015, representatives of the Civil Administration (CA) and the military came to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Humsah, which lies about two kilometers from the Hamra Checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley, in the West Bank. The forces demolished a structure under construction that was intended to house a family of four who live in a tent nearby. They also demolished two livestock pens belonging to another family in the community. Since the beginning of 2015, residents of this community have been made to evacuate their homes 11 times due to military training in the area, and nearby fields where the residents graze their flocks have been burned down. The forces then continued to the community of al-‘Ajaj (also known as Id’eis), which lies between the Palestinian village of al-Jiftlik and the settlement of Masu’a. There, they demolished two homes and two livestock pens. The families now remaining homeless number 12 people, half of them minors. In May 2014, the CA already demolished about half of the homes in the community. The forces then continued to the village of a-Zubeidat, where they demolished a structure for storing livestock fodder that lies in the part of the village defined as Area C.
On 5 August 2015, at approximately 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration (CA) personnel and military forces came to the Palestinian community of al-'Aqabah, which lies some two kilometers east of the Palestinian village of Tayasir in the Jordan Valley, the West Bank. They demolished the home of a five-person family (including two minors) in the community. CA personnel also demolished five structures that five of the community’s families used for storage and holding livestock.
Later, in the Palestinian community of ‘Ein al-Meyteh, also in the Jordan Valley, close to the Israeli settlement Maskiyot, the CA with their military escort demolished three residential tents and four structures used for raising livestock. These tents and structures were used by two families numbering eight people, including two minors. Since the beginning of 2015, the residents of ‘Ein al-Meyteh have been forced to temporarily leave their homes five times, due to military training close to their land. CA personnel also demolished a livestock pen in the nearby Palestinian community of Khirbet Yarza. This community, too, has been harmed by CA activity in the past year: in January 2015, the CA dismantled and confiscated pipes that had been laid to supply water to the community.
In a letter sent this morning to the Civil Administration, representatives of the village of Susiya demanded that the authorities freeze all the demolitions planned over the coming days in the village. The letter was sent after it emerged that the scale of destruction the state seeks to sow in Susiya is much greater than was previously thought, and includes almost half the structures in the village. If the structures are demolished, the residents will have no way to survive in the area in conditions of extreme heat and cold. Accordingly, the action effectively constitutes the expulsion of the residents from their land.
In 7 days throughout June, Israel temporarily displaced hundreds of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley from their homes in order to hold military maneuvers, bringing the total since the beginning of 2015 to 20 such days. The displacements disrupt the residents’ lives and cause various difficulties, including burnt farmland in some cases, as part of a deliberate effort to pressure the communities to leave the area permanently. Israel must halt this policy immediately and enable Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley to live undisturbed.
Yesterday, 17 June 2015, the military again displaced residents of the Palestinian communities of Khirbet al-Malih, ‘Ein al-Meyteh and al-Burj for military training near their homes. Together, the three communities are home to 29 families numbering 180 members, more than a hundred of them minors. On 8 June 2015, Civil Administration officials came to the communities and gave residents orders to evacuate their homes on 11 and 17 June between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Yesterday’s displacement was the fourth imposed on these communities this year, after they were told to leave their homes twice in May and on 11 June, for military training.
In addition, in the morning hours of 17 June 2015, the military intermittently blocked off a section of the main road between the Jordan Valley and the town of Tubas, near the evacuated communities. Vehicles arriving in the area were ordered by soldiers to turn around.
Yesterday, 16 June 2015, ten families numbering 69 members, 43 of them minors, from Khirbet Humsah were forced to leave their homes for seven hours to make way for military training in the area. When military forces arrived at the community in the morning, they told the ten evacuated families and five additional families that they would be required to leave their homes again on 22 and 25 June 2015 from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The families vacated their homes for seven hours last week, and in May, families from the community were evacuated seven times due to military drills. Over the past two years, residents of Khirbet Humsah were displaced more than forty times for military drills. The repeated displacement of community members in favor of military drills causes an ongoing disruption to their lives.
Today, residents of Khirbet al-Malih, Ein al-Meyteh and al-Burj were also evacuated for military training.
On 15 June 2015, a Civil Administration official again came to Khirbet Susiya, accompanied by Border Police. The official took photographs of several structures in the community, including the school, and left without explaining the reason for his actions.
On 10 June, the military again evacuated Palestinian residents of Khirbet Humsah from their homes for 7 hours so soldiers could train on their land. The residents returned to find their farmland burnt and unexploded ammunition nearby. They are to be evacuated again on 16 June. The military also served three other communities in the area, similarly evacuated last month, with evacuation orders for 11 and 17 June. Israel must immediately stop this and other actions taken as part of the policy to expel Palestinians from the Jordan Valley.
On 4 June 2015, Civil Administration officials demolished five tents and several livestock pens in the Palestinian shepherding community of al-Mukasar in the northern Jordan Valley. Aid organizations provided the families who were left homeless with new tents. This latest act is part of a longstanding Israeli policy to displace thousands of Palestinians who live in dozens of small communities throughout Area C, to enable de facto annexation of this part of the West Bank to Israel.
B'Tselem has championed human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for over two decades, promoting a future where all Israelis and Palestinians will live in freedom and dignity.