Text size

The Civil Administration yesterday morning destroyed 11 structures in an area occupied by Palestinians in the southern Hebron foothills. They included shacks, tents and public facilities erected by the British government's Department for International Development.

Large forces of IDF troops and border policemen, accompanied by bulldozers, arrived in the area where several hundred Palestinians live in caves and pits near their fields. The structures destroyed were located in an area that lies between the Green Line and three settlements - Ma'on, Carmel and Susiya.

The action went ahead although Palestinians and the civil administration are waiting for the results of mediation intended to determine whether the Palestinians can go on living in the area and working their fields.

The route of the separation fence is supposed to cross the northern tip of the area and it is due to be built in the coming months.

In 1999, the civil administration evicted several hundred Palestinians from the same region after declaring it a live-fire area.

The issue then went to the High Court of Justice which ruled in 2000 that the residents had the right to return. At that point, it was agreed to start mediation but the process has not yet been completed.