Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hebron area demolitions leave 35 Palestinians homeless

By Marta Feirra - April 06, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Hebron]

On Wednesday morning Israeli forces demolished six structures in the southern West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir, near Hebron, leaving 35 Palestinians homeless.

Umm al-Kheir residents told Ma’an News that bulldozers entered the village under military protection and demolished six homes made of tin, adding that houses in the village have been demolished for the eighth time.

“Thirty-five people have become homeless, while settlers on the illegal Karmel settlement are living a luxurious life only a few steps away from my home,” local resident Suleiman al-Hathalin told Ma’an News.  

“I had already become a refugee when I was displaced from my land in Arad [in 1948], and the occupation is now trying to displace me again,” he said on the day his house was demolished.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the demolition measures were taken against “six illegal tin constructions which were built without the required permits.”

The Umm al-Kheir community has faced the threat of displacement since the Karmel settlement, a religious community of around 70 families, was established in the 80’s and later expanded onto villagers’ land.

According to villagers and Israeli human rights organisations, Palestinian Bedouin residents in Umm al-Kheir are not allowed to connect to the electrical grid, and are not given building permits.

The village is located in Area C, under full Israeli military control, where Palestinian applications for building permits are rarely granted. As a result, nearly every structure is considered “illegal” by Israel and liable to be demolished.

The demolitions on Wednesday are part of one of the most extensive demolition campaign in the West Bank in recent years. According to UN figures, more than 650 Palestinians were left homeless in the last three months.



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