Electronic Intifada: Israeli occupation forces demolish homes and mosque, arrest girls near Hebron
From Electronic Intifada:
On 24 November Israeli occupation forces demolished two homes, a mosque and a barn, killing livestock, and arrested two young women in the village of Umm Fagarah, in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank.
The incident was caught on video by Operation Dove, an Italian organization that has maintained a presence in the area since 2004.
The description of the video states:
At 10 am two bulldozers arrived in the village, escorted by five military vehicles. Without showing any demolition order, the army demolished two houses, a mosque, a barn and a structure containing the generator.
Forced to kneel
During the video, two young Palestinian women can be seen being forced to kneel on the ground by Israeli occupation forces. The heavily-armed soldiers then take the women away in an armored vehicle as observers attempt to question the soldiers. The soldiers respond by demanding to see the observers’ passports and warning other observers to back away.
The description adds that people from neighboring villages rushed to the scene and,
Ignoring the request of the Palestinians to be able to rescue the rabbits, the Israeli army tore down the barn injuring and killing the animals. After the demolitions, the army took away the two girls without providing any explanation on the charges.
The Bedouin village of Umm Fagarah is near the village of al-Tuwani in the area of Hebron, an area where Palestinians, especially schoolchildren, face routine violent attacks by Israeli settlers.
Ethnic cleansing under pretext of lack of “building permits”
As elsewhere in the occupied territories, such as in Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem on the very same day, Israel routinely demolishes Palestinian homes on the pretext that they are built “without permits.” Israel rarely grants such permits to Palestinians to build on their own land. Israel’s home demolitions are crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Meanwhile, as part of its colonization policy, Israel routinely grants retroactive permission for Jewish-only settlements built on occupied land in violation of international law.
27,000 Bedouins in West Bank a target of Israeli ethnic cleansing
The latest demolitions in Umm Fagarah are part of a longstanding effort by Israel to rid the area of its indigenous population. Earlier this month, Israel destroyed the electricity network in the area, as also documented by Operation Dove.
Umm Fagarah is in “Area C” – most of the West Bank – which under the 1993 Oslo Accords remains under full Israeli military control with no role for the Palestinian Authority. Some 27,000 Palestinian Bedouins in Area C are currently targets of forced removal.