***22.06.11 – See update below…
On Tuesday June 14th, a large-scale demolition took place in the Jordan Valley village of Fasayil al-Wusta (Jericho Governorate), leaving a 103 people from 18 families, including 64 children homeless, and exposed to the harsh desert environment. ICAHD Co-Director, Itay Epshtain said: “The latest demolition is part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley.” “We have nowhere else to go, we will rebuild” says Khaled Abdallah Ali Ghazal.
The demolition took place at the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 14th, as 21 structures, including 18 homes and 3 animal shads were demolished by the Israeli Civil Administration. An armed force of 50 Israeli Border Guard secured the demolition, in the process injuring Ali Salim Abiat, who was subsequently transported to Jordan for medical care.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) staff visited the village this morning to document the massive demolition. Following the visit, ICAHD Co-Director, Itay Epshtain, commented: “It is Israel’s overt policy to demolish Palestinians homes in the Jordan valley, to allow for land expropriation and for neighboring settlements to encroach on Palestinian land”. Khaled Abdallah Ali Ghazal, resident of Fasayil vowed to rebuild his family home: “We have nowhere else to go, we will rebuild”.
Families in Fasayil, some of which lived in the area since the 1990’s, were handed demolition orders last April, and following yesterday’s demolition remain without shelter, with their sources of livelihood severely affected. In recent years Israel has implemented a policy of land grabs and illegal settlement expansion in the Jordan valley, impeding development by Palestinians. “Extensive demolition of homes, declaring closed military zones, stringent measures to prevent Palestinians freedom of movement, and the latest demolition are part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley”, added Epshtain.
Fasayil al-Wusta is home to a Bedouin community, many of whom originate from the area of Bethlehem. Fasayil is in Area C of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since 1967 Israel has demolished more than 30,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. No provision for relocation or compensation is ever made to victims of home demolitions.
Yesterday, Tuesday June 21st a demolition took place at the village of Khirbat al-Hadidiya (Jordan Valley). According to the UN Office for the Coordinating of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the demolition affected 29 structures and over 30 people from six households, 11 children included. Homes were also demolished at the village of Khirbet Yarza, affecting 13 people.
ICAHD will continue to monitor and report on the growing trend of house demolitions and ethnic displacement in the Jordan Valley. In an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of Palestinian inhabitants of the Jordan Valley, ICAHD has launched study tours of the area, based on engagement with local activists and the Palestinian communities.
For more information on ICAHD Jordan Valley tours, click here…