Cave home in Khirbet Jenbah. Area residents traditionally lived in caves, using them as a shared family space, for living, cooking, and sheltering livestock. Today, the authorities prohibit the communities from building permanent homes and developing in accordance with community needs and they continue to live in cramped conditions in the ancient caves. Photo credit: B'Tselem (Osnat Skoblinsk).

B’Tselem: in March alone 64 people homeless, including 28 minors due to demolitions

PNN/Yatta

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday invaded the Soba area, east of Ethna town, west of Hebron, bulldozed and uprooted 40 Dunams of farmlands, to prepare for building a gravel factory in an illegal settlement.

Furthermore, according to B’Tselem the IOF also demolished a home in the Khirbet Jenbah community, in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron Hills.

Solar panels donated by an international aid agency were also confiscated in the process, B’Tselem added.

The B’Tselem statement said Palestinian residents viewed this demolition demolition as a “message” from the Israel after they filed a petition against Israeli plans to expel them from the Masafer Yatta area to establish a military training area known as “Firing Zone 918.”

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Palestinians are prohibited from entering areas targeted as “firing zones” without rarely-granted permission from Israeli authorities, which has had “a serious humanitarian impact on Palestinian civilians and dramatically reduced the land available to them for residential and livelihood uses.”

Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in southern Hebron, said the IOF has recently demolished many barns, sheds, wells and solar panels, and is preventing the shepherds from herding their cattle in Masafer Yatta area, under the pretext of a “closed military zone.”

Demolished home in Khirbet Jenbah. The Civil Administration does not issue building permits to Palestinians in the area, on the grounds that they live within a firing zone. In February, the Administration demolished more than 20 homes in the area. Photo: B'Tselem.
Demolished home in Khirbet Jenbah. The Civil Administration does not issue building permits to Palestinians in the area, on the grounds that they live within a firing zone. In February, the Administration demolished more than 20 homes in the area. Photo credit: B’Tselem (Osnat Skoblinsk).

In Ethna town, Abdul-Rahman Tmeizi, head of the Public Relations Department in Ethna Local Council, said the IOF bulldozed the Palestinian lands in preparation for constructing a gravel factory for an illegal settlement, built on Palestinian lands.

According to B’Tselem, in the first week of March alone, Israel had torn down 17 dwellings, 19 agricultural structures, and a school in two Jordan Valley communities, one in the Nablus area and the other near Jericho — leaving 64 people homeless, including 28 minors.