The first permanent medical centre to be built in Beqa’a Valley village is being threatened with demolition along with 15 more houses. The village is located between Kiryat Arba settlement and Route 60 which divides the valley in two.
Many houses in Beqa’a have been demolished before, and have been rebuilt with the assistance of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, but the clinic is the first of its kind in the area. Currently the only medical help is a temporary clinic in a private house which is staffed by Palestine Relief Doctors every Wednesday, other than this the villagers have to walk into Hebron itself which can be difficult given its close proximity to Kiryat Arba.
The clinic first received a stop work order and then a demolition order, many houses were then given the same treatment. Some are threatened with partial demolition orders and others with complete.
The other troubling issue in Beqa’a Valley is the water situation. The villagers have been told that growing tomatoes is illegal since they use up a lot of water in their production. But the settlements are under no such restrictions. Also one of the village wells, from which people access water is under a demolition threat. It seems clear that the Israelis do not want Beqa’a to become more independent than it already is.
Beqa’a is threatened with settlement expansion, the fence and security zone comes very close to peoples’ houses and the people fear that the demolition of houses could lead to the settlements being given access to more land. Settlers already make life difficult for people here, many patrol the valley on horseback intimidating the locals.
What happens next could very well see the next expansion of the Kiryat Arba Settlement.