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Don’t say we did not know

by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions,

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In the early 1980s the inhabitants of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills were evicted. Tuba used to be where the settlement Maon Farm is today.

The people of Tuba settled nearby, about 1.5 km away. They were expelled again in the big expulsion of 1999, and returned under a Supreme Court warrant. The inhabitants of Tuba suffer from the harrassment of settlers who want their lands. Following settler attacks they stopped cultivating their lands in Wadi Zeitun that pass near the cattle yard in the settlement Carmel. Passage through Wadi Zeitun is difficult as well (eg. going to the town Yatta) as the settlers threaten them with weapons.

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The Jahalin tribe were expelled in the early 1950s from Israel to the West Bank – then under Jordanian rule – and some settled east of Jerusalem. Now the state wants to expel them. Israel intends to build the separation fence so that it surrounds the settlement Ma’ale Adumim and other settlements. In the enclave there will be 30 locations where the Jahalin live, only one of them on the fence route. The rest, some 3000 people will be inside the enclave. They don’t disturb the fence trajectory, nonetheless, the state intends to evacuate the Jahalin from their homes.

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The Al-Nasasra tribe lived on their land before the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1980 the state built the town Kseife near them. They are listed as residents of Kseife, receive municipal services from Kseife and participate in the municipal elections. The town wishes to integrate them and their land as a neighbourhood of Kseife. Now the state wants their land. They have been offered NIS 1000 per dunam (=1000 sq.m.) and half a dunam for habitation in the town. They refuse, because they want to live on their land as farmers. Now the Ministry of Interior has pasted demolition warrants on all the 100 houses of the Al-Nasasra.

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The municipality of Jerusalem hasn’t stopped demolishing homes in the Palestinian villages annexed to it after the war of 1967. Since the beginning of this year, the municipality has demolished 9 Palestinian homes. One of the cases that was carried out in bad faith is the case of Hamed El Amas in Sur Baher. The local planning committee had authorised this building, and had recommended to the regional committee that it be granted a licence. The municipality knew that the house had received authorisation by the local committee, but nonetheless sent its men and heavy machinery to demolish the house over a period of two days. It was a four storey building that had been intended to house eight families.

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Mahmud ‘Ali was born in Dir Dibwan, east of Ramallah, seventy years ago. He married in 1957. In the 1960s, before the Occupation, he went to the USA, where he received citizenship. After some time, he brought his wife and children to the USA. In the 1970s, his wife and children returned to their village, Dir Dibwan. Mahmud then used to visit his family once a year for a month or two. Since his retirement he tried to prolong these visits. The Israeli authorities forced him to go to Jordan every three months and return with a new visa. His wife is seventy years old, is ill and needs his help. About a year ago, the Israelis told him he’d have to wait for a year until he’s permitted to return. On January 20, 2007, when he tried to enter the West Bank from Jordan, Israel refused to grant him a visa and his entry was refused.

The village Dir Dibwan is in Area B, which is under Palestinian civil control, but Israel controls entry and exit from it.