Israel orders Palestinian family to demolish their home

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Israeli Forces demolish Palestinian house in Jerusalem on November 16, 2022. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli military today ordered a Palestinian family to demolish their own home immediately, Wafa news agency has reported. The house is in the Masafer Yatta area of the southern Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Fouad Al-Amour, coordinator of the Protection and Steadfastness Committees in Masafer Yatta, told Wafa that soldiers entered the village of Sousia in the area and issued a demolition order to a local resident ordering him to destroy his own 80-square-metre home. The move came a day after the demolition of five Palestinian-owned homes across Masafer Yatta, and the villages of Ma’in and Shaab Al-Butum.

Guy Butavia, an activist with the Israeli rights group Taayush, told the New Arab that the army razed five homes, animal pens and cisterns, discarding the contents of people’s lives out onto the cold desert. “They come and demolish your house,” said Butavia. “It’s winter. It’s cold. What’s next? Where are you going to sleep that night?”

On 4 May last year, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that there were no legal barriers to the planned expulsion of Palestinian residents from Masafer Yatta to make way for a military training zone. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), this ruling “effectively placed the residents at imminent risk of forced evictions, arbitrary displacement and forcible transfer.” In the 1980s, added UN OCHA, the Israeli occupation designated part of Masafer Yatta as “Firing Zone 918” and declared it to be a closed military zone.

Ever since, the indigenous Palestinian residents have been at risk of forced eviction, demolition and forcible transfer. The two villages of Khirbet Sarura and Kharoubeh no longer exist after the homes there were demolished.

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