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Israeli Army Destroys Homes, Water Wells in West Bank

Created on 15 June 2011

The Israeli army conducted another demolition operation in the Jordan Valley village of Fasayil al-Wusta yesterday early morning, and later in the day demolished five water wells in the Hebron area.


Remains of homes demolished by the Israeli army in the Jordan Valley Bedouin village of Fasayil (photo: Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign) 

At 6.00 a.m. on Tuesday 15 June, the Israeli army surrounded the Bedouin village of Fasayil, north of Jericho. More than 15 military vehicles arrived at the area, including two bulldozers. Army officers ordered residents to evacuate the huts that served as their homes. When residents refused, the army evacuated them using their weapons and threats of violence. Soldiers then cut the village’s electrical supply and demolished the huts.  Many Fasayil residents were rendered homeless and their goats, a primary source of livelihood, were left without shelter.

According to estimates of the United Nations Working Group on Forced Displacement, these demolitions affected an estimated 103 people from 18 families, including 64 children. Some 21 structures, including 18 residential structures and three animal shelters were demolished. The community had received  a number of demolition orders in March 2011.

Ibrahim Obaiat, chairman of the local village council, reported that soldiers said that since the village is located in Area C, under complete Israeli control, that all construction requires Israeli permission.  Past experience demonstrates that residents repeatedly submit requests for building permits, but are turned down by Israel.

Yesterday’s demolition is part of Israel’s wider campaign to expel Palestinian residents from the West Bank’s Jordan Valley. Fathi Khtherat, coordinator of the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign, stated that "many Palestinian have been rendered homeless, particularly those from the Bedouin villages, as a consequence of Israel’s demolition policies."

Israeli additionally demolished five water wells in the Alharaiek area, South of Hebron. Soldiers declared the area a closed military zone and destroyed the wells. When local residents came to protest the demolition, Israeli soldiers attacked them using their fists and rifles, in addition to shooting tear gas.

The water wells destroyed were owned by numerous families from the city of Hebron.