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Hebron: soldiers convert Palestinian home into military base

Israeli soldiers have erected tents on the roof of the Salayma family's home and are occupying the building

6 September 2010 | ISM Media

Al Baqa’a, HEBRON

On Friday the Israeli army raided a Palestinian house in Hebron and converted it into a military base, forcing a family of 14 to move into the first floor of their home.

The following day the soldiers took over the roof as well. Yesterday an ISM activist visited the Salayma family in Al Baqa’a, east of Hebron, and spoke to Salem Salayma about the situation.

He said that now the roof has been taken over, soldiers have been on and off the roof constantly. Yesterday morning, at about 8am, six soldiers carried out some kind of exercise around our house, running up the hill, sitting in shooting positions and moving up and down the road. He added that sometimes the army move around in the area, walking or driving, and all the families in the area are very scared. When they see soldiers, they close the house, and stay inside because they fear the soldiers themselves – as well as the settlers who have been moving around the area regularly since the shooting of four settlers last week, and have carried out several attacks on Palestinians.

Salayma, who is in his forties, lives with his family who in total number 14, including 4 children. At present 5 family members are living on the second floor of the occupied house, and 9 are on the first floor. Now, the family has been ordered to vacate the upper floor by next Sunday, so the soldiers can expand their military base. The only reason given for the takeover of the Salayma home has been “security reasons” and no alternative provisions have been made for the family. Since their arrival soldiers have been using the house’s bathroom, water and electricity, without asking.

United Nations personnel logged a report from the family yesterday and Salayma says he wants to hire a lawyer to prevent the military from taking over his house. However, any court case would not happen for at least two weeks and by that time the military occupation of the house will likely be complete.

Salaymi, has not been out of the house since the soldiers came, because he fears for his family. He is also deeply worried however because this means he is losing the income he needs to support his family since he has not been able to go to work. He has also been unable to attend prayers.