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The Latest in Jewish Morality: House Demolitions, Displacement, Settlement Construction

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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The ruins of a demolished home in Fasayil, the West Bank.
The ruins of a demolished home in Fasayil, the West Bank.Credit: Alex Levac
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

• Last Wednesday a unit from Civil Administration and the Israel Defense Forces destroyed a 1.5-kilometer water pipeline, and in doing so cut off the villages of Mughayer al-Abid and Khirbet Al-Majaz in the Masafer Yatta (Hebron district) from their water supply.

• The destroyers ignored the fact that the villagers of Masafer Yatta have petitioned the High Court of Justice against the damage to the pipes that bring water to them from the central tap in the village of Al-Tawani. The proceeding has been scheduled for March.

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• The descendants of the prophets are convinced that the Palestinians don’t need water like us, the Jews. The descendants of the survivors decided that supplying water in pipes to Palestinians in 62 percent of the West Bank contradicts the law and tradition of our forefathers.

• Masafer Yatta is the historical area of grazing lands and agriculture of the residents of the village of Yatta (today a city), in which some of them settled and established separate communities even before the establishment of the State of Israel.

• Israel claims it has a right to expel the residents from their villages so the IDF can conduct training exercises with live fire in the area. That is why it forbids them to link up to the infrastructure and destroys roads that they widened and cleared of rocks. The Jewish state knows that not all of them will be able to continue to live like that, and will leave. In other words, the Israelis expel and pretend that it’s a matter of free choice.

• In 2001 the illegal and unauthorized outpost of Avigayil was established in Masafer Yatta. Its members took over two springs that have always been used by the Palestinian farmers and shepherds. The outpost is undergoing an accelerated process of laundering. It is linked up to the electricity and water infrastructure, and a paved road leads to it. Like the rest of outposts in the region and the rest of the settlements.

• On October 27, a Civil Administration force with military escorts demolished a stone house belonging to a family of five (parents and three children) in the community of Birin northeast of Yatta. Our forces also destroyed the family’s water cistern. It isn’t an oil rig or an attempt to reach groundwater. It’s a cistern for collecting rainwater or for water paid for in full and delivered in containers.

• The laconic reports on the Voice of Palestine news and B’Tselem’s reports to the media, almost on a daily basis, are very similar to one another. At such and such a time a unit of the Civil Administration arrived with an army or Border Police escort to such and such a community, and demolished the residence of a family of five or of seven, or confiscated a bulldozer that paved a path to an orchard, or issued a demolition order for a structure used as a school. Such acts repeat themselves and bore us, the writers and editors, and you, the readers. That’s why they are not translated every day into a headline, for the glory of Jewish morality.

• From 2006 to the end of September 2020 Israel demolished at least 1,623 residential structures (usually tents, huts, trailer homes, etc.) of Palestinians in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, and 7,068 people, including 3,543 children, lost the roof over their heads. And the work and money they invested went down the drain, and with them their hopes and dreams.

• Israel has demolished more than once the meager homes of at least 1,100 Palestinians, including 527 children, in communities whose existence it decided not to recognize.

• From 2012 until the end of September of this year, Israel demolished 1,804 non-residential structures: such as water cisterns, fences, animal pens, warehouses and so on.

• Not included in the calculations are all those homes that should be built but aren’t being built, because of Israeli prohibitions and the fear of the trauma and costs of demolition.

• In the first nine months of this year Israel demolished the residences of 418 Palestinians in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), including 208 children. The highest number since 2016, according the calculations of B’Tselem.

• The year 2020 is a record year when it comes to advancing construction in the settlement in the past two decades. Peace Now estimates that the Civil Administration supreme planning council approved the construction of 12,159 housing units for Jews in the West Bank this year. Of them, 4,948 were approved on October 14 and 15.

• In the first nine months of this year, 100 residences belonging to Palestinians in East Jerusalem were demolished (68 were demolished by their owners, so that the municipality of the united city would not obligate them to pay the demolition costs). Victims of the demolition: 323 people, including 167 children.

• Since 1967, Israel, the representative of the Jewish people throughout the generations, has adopted a policy of restricting construction for Palestinians in the area it annexed to Jerusalem. This in addition to a massive confiscation of private Palestinian land and its transfer to Jews, citizens of Israel and the diaspora. The chosen people.

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