Ramallah /PNN/ Today, April 11, 2016- Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah issued a statement condemning the illegal Israeli raids on the Palestinian community of Khirbet Tana.
“The forcible displacement of people is a breach of international humanitarian law and prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention. How many times does Israel have to violate these laws before the international community intervenes?” Hamdallah said.
On Thursday, April 7, the Israeli army destroyed 34 structures in the community of Khirbet Tana, east of Nablus, displacing 69 residents; 29 of them children. More than 400 Palestinians used to live in this community.
“I was born on this land,” 80-year-old Radwan Khatatbeh said, “These gangs won’t be able to drive me away.”
Mr. Khatatbeh reported that during one of the raids, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at his sheep, destroyed the community’s only water well, arrested his son and threatened to destroy his home. He further added that the Israeli army destroyed an EU-funded school, forcing the community to use their mosque as a temporary classroom for the children.
In the 1970s, the Israeli military declared an area near Khirbet Tana a firing zone, and has since subjected the local population to continuous harassment in an effort to empty the land from its indigenous inhabitants. In 2011, an interim injunction provided a temporary reprieve for the residents of Khirbet Tana, lasting until November 2015. However since the injunction was lifted last year, the Israeli army invaded the community four times.
Since the beginning of 2016, the Israeli military destroyed 539 Palestinian structures – more than the entire previous year – rendering 804 Palestinians homeless.