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Israeli Government Issues Demolition Order for Another Jordan Valley Village

Ka’abna village, in the Jiflik area of the Jordan Valley, recently received an order for its 6th demolition in the last 5 years. Home to 80 villagers, the land on which these men, women and children live is in fact the area to which the Israeli government suggested they move when the military demolished their previous homes. Regardless, the army now claims they’ve built on a military closed zone and it has demanded that they leave. Almost 30 homes and animal enclosures will be destroyed if the demolition takes place, and the lives and education of 50 children will be severely disrupted yet again.

The villagers of Ka’abna were displaced from their land 18 years ago by one of the many settlements that illegally occupy the Jordan Valley. The homes in the village, which have been rebuilt five times in as many years, consist of concrete walls waist-high topped with fencing wire, plastic sheets and old cotton bags used for the upper walls and roofing. The village has never had access to water or electricity, and villagers pay a sum of 100 shekels every 4-5 days to transport water to their homes by tractor.

The military add to the hardships endured in Ka’abna village by placing residents under curfew on a regular basis. The villagers assume they are subject to curfews because of problems that sometimes arise at the nearby checkpoint. However, the curfew is often enforced for reasons not apparent to the villagers.

‘People cant live like this. We have no water or electricity. We just want to eat and raise our children’ said a village spokesman. But the Israeli government claims the village, which is less than a square kilometer in size, is built without permits upon military land and must be demolished. The permits to which the government refers are nearly impossible to obtain. When asked whether they will rebuild the village again, the people of Ka’abna said they will. ‘Many villagers have been detroyed in the area and they (the villagers) have rebuilt. We will rebuild. This is our land’ said the village spokesman.

The High Court last week ordered the demolition be postponed for a period of 60 days. Following this period, the High Court will review the matter and decide whether the village will be demolished. The villagers are concerned however that the military will ignore the court order and begin demolishing the village for a 6th time prior to the High Court hearing.