Mirja, Lo, and Nils.
Israel’s Next Step: Destroying Financial and Economic Structures
Report from Idna just outside Hebron
Idna is a village with 21,000 citiziens. Since 1948, Israel has stolen more than half of Idna’s land for illegal settlements.
The most recent loss has cut Idna off from 3,000 dunams (667 acres) of their own land, because of the illegal annexation wall. The vast majority of this stolen land had once been used for growing olive trees and vegetables. That land also fed the farmer’s sheep and goats. Since the wall’s completion, the local economy has been ruined. About 20,000 olive trees had been located on the other side of the wall, many which the Israeli army burned while building the wall.
During the first Intifada, many homes in Idna were destroyed by the Israeli military, and they haven’t stopped that destruction, with two farms destroyed just three months ago — including the homes situated on the farms.
One of the families, formerly prosperous shepherds with 500 to 600 sheep, now lives in tents provided by The Red Crescent. The same day that this family’s farm was demolished, the military also destroyed a local shop and trading post. Vilagers say that the military has started to focus on destroying the financial and economic structures of Idna.
Most of the houses that have been demolished during the last years have been outside the city. The army either claims that the people don’t have a license and permission to live there, or insists that they are too near the wall. When the farmers try to receive permissions to be on their own land, they have been repeatedly denied.
In most cases, the military comes in the morning without any announcement, and demolishes the houses. Now, there are about 10 houses outside Idna that the army has threatened to demolish for over a year. But, since they can come in at any time, no one really can really prepare for what might happen.
Also, electricity has been destroyed for some of the farmers, and more than 20 wells and springs have been ruined. Idna has a problem with water resources, because an Israeli company delivers the water, and they never get enough. Outside the town is an illegal settlement with 1000 people; those settlers receive more water from the company than Idna does city for its 21 000 people.
Idna villagers have suffered a lot because of the wall. Before it was built, many worked inside Israel. Now unemployment is about 65%, and farmers can’t make a living, since they have lost most of their land and their houses are being demolished.
So the situation here is very uncertain, and, like the rest of Palestine, Israel is making life as difficult as possible for the Palestinian people, trying to make them leave their own land.