Monday, September 25, 2017

Israeli army orders demolition of agricultural structures in southern Nablus


By Josh F. - August 03, 2016
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nablus] [demolition] [agriculture] [Israeli army]

Demolition notices were handed out for three agricultural structures and four water wells in the Nablus village of Qusra by Israeli army on Monday, mirroring an almost identical demolition move carried out by authorities in May.

According to a report by Ma’an, the justification for the destruction of the agricultural structures is that they were built without Israeli-issued licenses. Similarly, the forced removal of the water wells is being carried out because they were built without the permits required by the Israeli Civil Administration.

“They use all kinds of excuses,” Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communication and Media of the Prime Minister’s Office, told Palestine Monitor.

“They say that sometimes an area has been designated as a military zone — that’s a very common excuse that they use when they want to appropriate land by farmers, they destroy Palestinian small communities and replace them with settlements,” he said. “And sometimes they just say that these structures were built illegally.”

Qusra village is not unfamiliar with the Israeli government's demolition policy. On May 24, 2016, four water wells and three agricultural structures were also destroyed in an almost identical move.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah condemned both demolitions, calling them “atrocious.”

“Water is life, and if you don’t have water you cannot exist,” he said in a May 26 statement.

In both cases, the water wells scheduled for destruction were financed by the Dutch government. According to Dajani, many of the structures that are demolished by Israeli forces were financed by the EU and other European countries, like France. “And Israel just goes there and overnight destroys them,” he said.

“We are very concerned about it. It’s something that has to be condemned internationally,” Dajani said of the demolitions.

He also highlighted the disparity that exists between the water resources available to Palestinians and the water that is available for Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

“Many Palestinian communities suffer and they have to conserve their water,” Dajani explained. “Israeli settlers enjoy not only the water, but the swimming pools.”

According to Dajani, 650 Palestinian structures — including 168 homes — have been destroyed so far in 2016, and future demolitions are still to come. This contraction of Palestinian infrastructure is taking place simultaneously with the expansion of Israeli settlements in the territory, he said.

“It goes hand-in-hand: drive away the Palestinians, make their lives impossible, and appropriate the land for more Israeli colonial settlement.”

Speaking about resisting these policies, Dajani emphasized the need for international support. He also spoke about the position of the Palestinian government on this issue, encouraging people to resist peacefully through demonstrations or marches, “and trying to stand in the path of bulldozers, and of course the mighty Israeli military machine.”

However, Dajani admits that resistance will only go so far. “You know, Israel sends its destruction machine with its military. So you know, we cannot call on our communities to subject itself to danger, because you know, you’re facing an army.”

He spoke about other methods of oppression, such as arresting people and shooting livestock animals. He also cited the Israeli government's violation of international law.

“This is all part of a systematic Israeli campaign to drive palestinians away from their homes and ancestral land,” Dajani said.

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