November Updates from Masafer Yatta

Another month has gone by in which we have witnessed extremely high levels of violence by settlers and the occupation army, here in Masafer Yatta. Taking advantage of the lack of news coverage in this area, the occupation army and settlers have been attacking the Palestinian communities constantly, through all forms of violence; from property destruction to abduction of residents and constant death threats.

Settler militias have been attacking the residents of Masafer Yatta while wearing army uniforms. They have attacked the school in the village of Tuwani, terrorising the children attending classes. All of these attacks go unpunished and, most of the time, unreported by international media.

The community of Wadi Tiran is an example of what it means to experience this constant violence. For weeks settlers have stormed the village, threatening the inhabitants to leave or they would get killed. Other than this constant tactic of terror, settlers also engage in property destruction, as it is seen in this picture of a car in Wadi Tiran being destroyed during one of these attacks.

A car destroyed by settlers in Wadi Tiran.

On November 22nd, an internationalist supporter was arrested in Masafer Yatta merely for documenting the demolition of¬† a home in the village of Sha’ab Al-Butum, and was subsequently deported.

The demolition of a home in Sha’ab Al-Butum carried out by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
Another picture after the demolition of homes by Israeli Occupation Forces in Masafer Yatta.

Within the first week of December, occupation army bulldozers invaded several villages including al Deirat, Umm Lasafa and Umm Qissa. The demolitions left Palestinian children and their families homeless as the targeted destruction and expulsion of Masafer Yatta communities continues to accelerate.

Within one day, the occupation forces demolished more than 8 structures, including houses and animals barns in Alkarowh  Umm Qissa village here in the south Hebron hills.

This took place one day before the shooting of a Palestinian resident of the village of Qilqis by the occupation forces.

Residents have also been continuosly and violently arrested. This horrible tactic is usually carried out in humiliating manners, during the night with no way to hold accountable the occupying army with all of its abuses.

Yet another demolition took place two weeks ago in the village of Sheab Al Botom, when the occupation army demolished two homes, and a sheep shelter. Later that day, theyh also targed the Gzeiwa village, demolishing the water well, in yet another example of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

In the morning of December 8th, around 50 soldiers and settlers, most of whom wore masks, invaded the village of Khallet Al-Dabaa and violently attacked 5 people. The aggressors abducted a Palestinian man, father of 4 young children. They also ransacked and seriously damaged some houses and the elementary school of the village, destroying doors, windows and furniture. The soldiers/settlers stole 6000 shekels ($1600), and various property such as power drills, jackets, flashlights and binoculars. They also destroyed food supplies of the families. The group of settlers also blocked the road to a nearby village and prevented an ambulance from reaching a diabetic 84-year-old Palestinian who needed urgent medical attention.
The head of the village council, Muhammad Rabai, who had called the ambulance, was arrested.

One of the walls of a home in Khallet Al-Dabaa, destroyed by settlers during the attacks. The painting read ‘Where will I sleep?’
Another wall destroyed during the settler attack. The painting used to read ‘Free Palestine from the river to the sea’.

 

The kitchen after being stormed and ransacked by settlers.