A UN report has found that the Israeli government has planned to demolish up to 17,000 constructions, most of which privately owned by the Palestinians, in the illegally occupied West Bank.
Last Thursday, hundreds of people in Beersheba protested the Israeli Supreme Court for allowing the government to demolish the “unrecognised’’ Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran and other demolitions across Negev and replace them with Jewish settlements.
More than 150,000 Bedouins live in Negev, including half who live in towns and others in “unrecognised’’ villages.
The villages are deprived of basic needs by Israeli government, as electricity, connections to water lines, education, healthcare, roads and sewage to make way for Jewish settlers.
Between 2010 and 2014, only 33 (1.5%) of the Palestinian building permits were confirmed in Area C of the settlement, according to the Israeli Civil Administration data.
Out of the 11,134 demolition orders, 570 were categorized as ready to be demolish immediately, and in the first half of 2015 the Civil Administration destroyed 245 Palestinian constructions in Area C.
Due to legal procedures, another 2,454 orders were not carried out, while 8,110 demolition orders were categorized as “in process”.
The house of Mohammed Saidi, a local resident who lives with two wives, 11 children and another 25 family members, has been demolished and rebuilt more than four times in four years.
Said said, “I can’t move because I need this area to feed my animals and there is no grazing land for us in Azaria.”
“For 70 years they have been trying to get Arabs off the land so the Jews can move in. We feel like we can’t live anymore, it’s not something people feel in the west, only us here. When I tell Israeli forces that I have a family to provide for they don’t care” he said.
Last year Israel demolished 590 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). As a result, 1,177 people were displaced.
The residents have been living under imminent threat of demolition since May, when the Israeli High Court approved the demolition order -which had been undergoing a court review since 2012- for removing tents, built homes and a school.