JCB, the British company targeted by ICAHD because of its use in demolishing Palestinian homes, has been at it again. Throughout November Israeli authorities have been sweeping through Area C of the West Bank with another surge of demolitions and for many of them, JCB bulldozers were used.
On Wednesday, 25th November demolitions occurred in both the north and south of the West Bank. A JCB bulldozer was involved in demolitions in Fasayil al Wusta in the north of the Jordan Valley. JCB was also recorded at work in the Massafer Yatta region where the demolitions happened in five of the small communities. Destroyed were seven homes, three toilet units, stone-walled agriculture enclosures, terraces, and two water tanks. In addition, tens of trees were uprooted, and two kilometres of a water system was severed that had connected numerous communities serving hundreds of people and thousands of animals, this for the third time in under two years.
The activity began in the early morning when several military jeeps, Israeli Civil Administration vehicles and four bulldozers arrived at the entrance to Carmel, one of Israel’s illegal settlements located directly beside the village of Um Al Khair. From there the convoy moved from community to community.
The Alliance for Human Rights, a group of activists in the South Hebron Hills, filmed the destruction on the 25th. View this video here (video opens in a new window)..
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that Palestinian communities have been living in this area for decades, many since before the Israeli occupation began in 1967. However, in the 1980s the Israeli authorities designated most of this area as a closed military zone designed for training the Israeli army. Since then the dozen communities in Massafer Yatta have been subject to a range of policies and practices that have undermined their physical security, lowered their standard of living, and increased their poverty levels and dependence on humanitarian aid. The communities are at continuous risk of forcible transfer out of the area. The demolition of these Palestinian homes and structures vital for living as well as forcible transfer violations of the 4th Geneva Convention.
The international community is needed to help stop these atrocities. Information on actions you can take can be found in the campaign section of the ICAHD website: