Demolition in al-Tur. Source: Ma’an News
By Noga F.
The month of May brought sorrow to many Palestinian families as Israeli forces conducted seven separate demolitions across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on 4th May alone. In Tel al-Sabi in southern Israel, Bedouin citizen of Israel, Salman Abu Sabila, had his home demolished for the 10th time in two years. In the village of Umm Batin, also in southern Israel, a water reservoir and a fence were demolished. This destruction of a water resource left countless Palestinians without access to clean drinking water. A further demolition took place in the Negev, east of Tel Sheva, where one home was destroyed. This continued on the same day across occupied East Jerusalem, where two buildings in the Issawiya neighbourhood were destroyed citing lack of permits. In the neighbourhood of al-Tur, a two storey building compromising of four apartments was demolished with no notice given to its residents. Likewise, in the neighbourhood of Sur Bahir, a family home was demolished leaving six people, including four children, homeless. A further demolition took place in al-Walaja, in the southern West Bank, where the Israeli military have full control. Israeli forces demolished four homes in the occupied region. The demolitions of May 4th alone left at least nine families homeless, and many more affected.
Demolitions continued throughout May across the OPT. On May 9th, in Al Jiflik, which is in Area C and therefore under full Israeli military control, a demolition took place. On May 17th, in Dura, near Hebron, former Palestinian prisoner Rixq al-Rujoub faced a house search and the destruction of all of his interior walls. During the search Israeli forces prevented an ambulance access to the house, where a woman was in labour. The Israeli Government often destroy homes of Palestinians prisoners and their families, citing deterrence as the reason. This form of punitive punishment is illegal under international law. Also on May 17th, Israeli forces stormed the village of Khirbet al-Dir, near Tubas in the occupied West Bank. A structure and two water pumps were destroyed. A further demolition took place the next day on May 18th, in Ya’bad near Jenin.
Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel were not spared the destruction this month. In the unrecognised village of Sa’aw in the Negev, five structures were demolished on May 10th. Six separate demolitions took place across the Negev on May 15th; in Wadi Al Naam two homes were destroyed, in Tel Arad one home was destroyed, two homes and a shack were demolished in Hasham Zana, two homes were demolished in Sawawin, and one home was demolished in Tel Al Maleh. In Bir Hadaj, a family was forced to demolish their six homes. Frequently, following a demolition, the Israel state forces the victims to fund the demolitions, with prices costing thousands. Demolitions continued for Bedouins in the Negev on 17th May, where a structure was demolished in Um Batin, and two homes and a structure were demolished in Rahma. Also on May 17th, Al-Araqib was demolished for the 113th time since 2010 and for the 5th time this year.