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Israeli army demolishes homes in Khirbet Tana for the fifth time

20 February 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

The villagers in Khirbet Tana, near Beit Furik in the Nablus region, once again faced Israeli bulldozers destroying their homes. Only ten days after the last demolition, the Israeli army arrived in the village, and jeeps full of soldiers blocked the roads to the village whilst the bulldozers and diggers completely destroyed ten structures, including homes and animal shelters. A sheep was found on the ground that had been crushed by a bulldozer and was left dying. One tractor was also destroyed, and it has been reported that another one was confiscated by the army.

Two of the tents that the Red Cross had provided the families with after the last demolition were seized by the Israeli army, leaving them without shelter.

Palestinian man sits amongst the ruins of his home

The soldiers blocked the road and prevented anybody that wanted to go to the village during the time the demolition was going on. Around a dozen men from the village had to wait on the road while the army destroyed their homes, and were prevented from going to their families.

One asked: “What are you doing here?” The soldier answered: “We are carrying out orders from the Israeli government, army business. These houses are illegal; they don’t have permission to live here.” When asked, “Permission from whom? Do you have any proof which says these houses are illegal? Do you have papers that say you are allowed to destroy these homes and to make these people homeless?” The soldier answered, “We don’t need a permission, we don’t need a paper, I am your paper, I am a soldier.”

One of the people that had their home destroyed was Radi Mahmoud Hanani. Sitting in the remains of his home, he asked: “Where will we cook now? Where will we eat? Where will we sleep?”

The residents of Khirbet Tana are determined and soon after the Israeli army departed, they commenced with rebuilding the structures with what materials they could salvage.