'Now it's all gone': 141 left homeless. Women cope with siege in Jordan Valley

12:00 Jun 24 2011 al-Hadidya, Khirbet Yerza, and Fasayil, Jordan Valley

EI 24 June --

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Israeli military forces have demolished 27 houses in the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank over the last two weeks. More than 140 Palestinians have been rendered homeless by the demolitions, while Israeli settlement expansion continues to threaten more land and restrict water access — affecting the vitality of dozens of Palestinian villages in the area.

According to the Jordan Valley Solidarity (JVS) campaign, an organization working with local communities, Israeli military and police jeeps and two bulldozers invaded the Bedouin community of al-Hadidya on 21 June. The bulldozers “demolished seven residential tents, 18 animal shelters and four kitchens, leaving 32 people homeless,” the group reports (“Big wave of demolitions in the Northern Jordan Valley,” 21 June 2011).

Al-Hadidya is located near two illegal Israeli settlements, which are built partly on the village’s farmland, according to JVS. The area is surrounded by three military bases and is a designated “closed military zone” by Israeli forces. JVS adds that there have been nearly a dozen demolitions of Palestinian homes in the village since 2007 “with many of the residents having had their homes destroyed multiple times.”

“After the demolition of al-Hadidya, the bulldozers drove on to nearby Khirbet Yerza, where they demolished two homes and two animal shelters. As a result ten people were left homeless,” JVS reports. The group filmed the demolition in al-Hadidya, which left the Daraghmeh family homeless, and uploaded the video to YouTube (“Khirbet Yerza Demolition,” 21 June 2011).

In the video, JVS reports that this is the second time in five months that the Daraghmeh family suffered a demolition of their home, and that the family was not given a demolition order before the destruction of their property on Tuesday.

Wave of home demolitions in the Jordan Valley

The demolitions in al-Hadidya and Khirbet Yerza come on the heels of a massive demolition inside the village of Fasayil on 14 June. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) states in a report that more than 100 persons — including 64 children — were left homeless after Israeli forces destroyed 21 structures, including 18 homes (“Jordan Valley homes demolished, 103 left homeless,” 15 June 2011).

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