In one of their latest barbaric acts
of violence, Israeli occupation forces closed indefinitely the main road leading to eight Palestinian villages
in preparation for the demolition of all
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a demolition order for
the territory in South Hebron Hills saying it is needed for
Israeli army training exercises.
The mandate is due to be carried
out in late July unless the Palestinians get a blocking order from
Israeli Supreme Court.
The villages slated for demolition are Majaz, Tabban, Safa,
Fakheit, Markez, Jinba, and Kharubeh, which have a total
of 2,000 residents.
The Israeli defense establishment regards all of them as squatters
in Firing Zone 918, even though the villages have existed since at
least the 1830s.
Kamil Homaid, Hebron’s governor, said that “a large Israeli force
arrived in the area and erected a military checkpoint to prevent
the residents of the eight villages from leaving.”
Homaid added that the Israeli soldiers – backed with helicopters –
raided the villages of Jinba and Beir el-Abid. According to the
governor, the residents were forced to wait outside their homes
for several hours while Israeli soldiers searched their homes.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said that the
move was likely to cause “an immediate humanitarian disaster for
the 2,000 residents.”
One spokesperson added that the demolition
would be “a travesty given the remarkable way of life that has
endured in these villages for centuries.”
The destruction of villages and the
displacement of villagers have been an integral part of the
Zionist project since 1948.
Expulsions are followed by the
expropriation of the land for the expansion of Jewish settlements.
In April 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice issued a decision
calling for the destruction of Al-Aqaba village, located on the
slopes of the Jordan Valley.
The same policy was also perpetrated against vulnerable
communities such as the Jahalin.