Israel Demolishes Homes, Stores, Animal Barn near Hebron

HEBRON, January 20, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army Tuesday demolished two homes, a store, and an animal barn in the village of Khallat al-Mai, south of Hebron, according to local sources.

Mohammad Mehesen, coordinator of the People’s Anti-Settlement Committee, told WAFA an Israeli army force accompanied by military vehicles broke into the village and proceeded to demolish the two houses and other structures, which are the property of local residents.

The two houses shelter 14 members from the Rab’i clan, whereas the animal structure is used for livestock husbandry.

Owners of the two houses, Hussein and Hassan Rab’i, both brothers, were not allowed to evacuate the furniture of their homes when the Israeli military arrived, local sources told WAFA.

Soldiers also assaulted and beat up a number of local residents in the village, hitting them with the butts of their rifles.

The village is located in Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli control, where the Israeli authorities rarely issue construction permits for Palestinians, forcing many of them to embark on construction without obtaining a proper permit.

The Israeli authorities frequently demolish homes in the South Hebron Hills, where Khallat al-Mai is located, and in the Jordan Valley. As of 31 May 2014, in the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills, the homes of at least 450 Palestinians – including 229 minors –have been demolished more than once, according to the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem.

According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), “the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures, forced or resulting displacement, and land expropriation are politically and ethnically motivated.”

“The goal is to limit development and confine the four million Palestinian residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza to small enclaves, thus effectively foreclosing any viable, contiguous Palestinian state and ensuring Israeli control and the ‘Judaization’ of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem,” ICAHD explained.

ICAHD estimates that some 27,000 Palestinian structures have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, based on information collected from the Israeli Ministry of Interior, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Civil Administration, UN bodies and agencies, Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups, our field monitoring, and other sources.