Israeli occupation forces used Hyundai and Caterpillar equipment to demolish Palestinian buildings and cisterns in the villages of al-Deirat and Jawaya in the south Hebron Hills area of the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.
This is an area of intense Israeli settlement activity, where some villages, such as Susya, have been ordered totally destroyed by the occupation forces.
Video shot by Operation Dove (website) shows bulldozers, accompanied by Israeli occupation forces, carrying out demolitions of a two storey home belonging to Mohammad Musa Mohammad Abu Aram, and a rainwater cistern belonging to Mahmud Ahmed Nasser Nawaja, as distraught villagers watched.
Both Caterpillar and Hyundai have come under intense pressure, and Caterpillar in particular is the target of a broad divestment campaign, because of complicity in Israeli human rights abuses.
Israel had demolished 476 Palestinian owned structures in the occupied West Bank in 2012, as of September’s monthly report from UN OCHA.
In 2011, according to the UN, over 1,100 Palestinians, half of them children, were displaced by Israeli demolitions, an increase of 80 percent on the previous year.
In so-called “Area C,” 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli rule with no role for the Palestinian Authority, there were some 3,000 outstanding demolition orders, 18 targeting schools, as of July 2011.
Text by Operation Dove accompanying the video describes what happened in the latest demolitions:
On November 6th the Israeli army demolished one house and a stumble in the Palestinian village of Derath; afterward it demolished a house and a water cistern in the Palestinian village of Jawaya, South Hebron Hills, West Bank.
Around 6.45 am three DCO (District Coordination Office) cars, two demolition machines and one bulldozer broke in Derath village escorted by four Border Police jeeps and one army vehicle. First it was demolished a two floors house still under construction owned by Mohammad Musa Mohammad Abu Aram, then they moved to demolish a metal sheep’s stumble.
At about 9 am the vehicles proceeded to Jawaya village, demolished a house and destroyed a water cistern, used to collect rain water; both owned by Mahmud Ahmed Nasser Nawaja. In the South Hebron Hills area water supply is particularly critical. According to the owner, in 2011 the DCO delivered only a stop working order for those two structures.
The two Palestinian villages are located in Area C, under Israeli military and civil administration. According to OCHA oPt (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in occupied Palestinian territory) construction is prohibited for Palestinians in some 70% of Area C, while in the remaining 30%, a range of restrictions eliminate the possibility of obtaining a building permit.
The policies enforced by the Israeli authorities in Area C restrict the possibility to access to basic needs for the residents and prevent environment and development of Palestinian communities. An OCHA Opt research shows that in some communities families are being forced to move as a result of Israeli policies applied in Area C.