Palestinian farmer Fadel Rabai searches the remains of a concrete shelter demolished by the Israeli military, Al Tuwani, West Bank, April 2, 2014. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
Seven Palestinian structures were demolished by Israeli authorities in the village of Al Tuwani in the south Hebron Hills on Wednesday morning. These structures, used for shelter during agricultural harvests and to store equipment and animal feed, sat on a hillside opposite the Israeli settlements of Ma’on and its outpost Havat Ma’on (Hill 833).
The structures, used for shelter during agricultural harvests and to store equipment and animal feed, sat on a hillside opposite the Israeli settlements of Ma’on and its outpost Havat Ma’on (Hill 833). While all Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, so-called outposts like Havat Ma’on were built in violation of Israeli law as well, but are rarely demolished. When they are, often many more settlement housing units are built elsewhere to placate settler activists.
According to B’Tselem: “Israel has created a situation in which thousands of Palestinians are unable to obtain permits to build on their land, and are compelled to build without a permit because they have no other way to provide shelter for their families.” At the same time, “[T]housands of houses were built in [Israeli] settlements without permits. Israel refrained from demolishing these houses, and instead issued retroactive building permits for thousands of houses constructed without permits. This building-permit policy blatantly discriminates between settlers and Palestinians.”
On Tuesday, a total of 32 Palestinian structures were demolished in the West Bank, displacing 60 Palestinians, mostly in Jordan Valley villages, according to the UN. On Thursday morning, Israeli forces entered the Jabal Al Baba Bedouin community between the Palestinian town of Al Eizariya and the large Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim and demolished two dwellings used by 19 people.
Mobile homes and fruit trees represent the expanding edges of the Israeli settlement of Ma’on, which is taking land from the South Hebron Hills village of Al Tuwani, West Bank, April 2, 2014. All Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law. The cultivation of fruit trees requires intensive irrigation in a region where Palestinian villages must struggle for water access to meet their basic needs. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
A Palestinian woman and child stand near concrete blocks salvaged from the remains of shelters demolished by the Israeli military, Al Tuwani, West Bank, April 2, 2014.