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Village Demolished

Khirbet Tana, near Beit Furik, Nablus

On July 5th, Israeli forces demolished the entire village of Tana, near Beit Furik, Nablus. The residents had received one day’s notice (via a piece of paper left outside one of their dwellings) that their homes were to be demolished. The villagers knew no-one to call; thus, the razing of their homes went ahead unhindered. The UN estimates 170 persons have been “displaced”, the villagers say Tana was home to about 100 families. The villagers intend to protest this destruction and reclaim their land this Thursday 14th July.

Tana is a small farming village in the Jordan valley in one of the longest continually inhabited areas of the world. Residents say the area is mentioned in the holy books and was known 3500 years ago. The village mosque, the only structure not to be demolished, has stood for several hundred years.

The paper announcing the demolition says that the villagers had built their homes without Israeli permission. Their caves and stone constructions are hundreds of years old. In recent years they have added steel and concrete structures to the front of their caves. A school house was built six years ago and, contrary to the UN report, this too was destroyed last week. When the army destroyed the village they demolished not only the steel structures but the caves themselves and even the villagers’ cars.

In 1989 the villagers had a court case in Israel, after which they were told they would be allowed to farm the western portion of their land. In recent years the villagers have also been threatened by settlers from Itamar, who came and swam in their water supply.

The villagers are not defeated and refuse to be intimidated. They intend to go back to their land, rebuild their homes and continue farming. International and Israeli activists supporting this action will assemble in Beit Furik at Beit Furik Municpality at 10am, Thursday 14th July.

For more information on Tana see Beit Furik Village’s website at: www.beitfurik.levillage.org/journal

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