by Aura and Robin
17 April 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
Early Monday morning the IOF came to Kufr ad-Dik and demolished three houses and three water wells, along with several tents belonging to Bedouin families nearby. Settlements Bruchin, Alei Zahav, and Pedu’el are expanding quickly, claiming more and more Palestinian land and making life for the people of Kufr ad-Dik impossible.
The soldiers came to the olive groves of Kufr ad-Dik at 7am, armed with ten military jeeps and a bulldozer. After surrounding the area, they began destroying the three houses and water wells which had served as a home and work sheds to several families. Appallingly, the Palestinians present were held at gunpoint during the whole operation.
In four months the Israeli authorities have demolished fifteen houses and Bedouin tents in the area of Kufr Ad-Dik. The houses are used by farmers for agricultural purposes. The farmers use them for storing their equipment and to escape the heat in the summer months. They were particularly important during the harvest, when farmers would live in them for weeks at a time. The destruction of Bedouin tents has left families with no home at all, and no cover in the changing weather.
The Bedouin families had all of their five tents demolished at the same time. They asked the soldiers to spare one tent so that the children at least had somewhere to shelter, but the soldiers showed no mercy, adding that they would be back in one week and if the families had not left the land they would be arrested.
“I have over 600 sheep, there’s no place except here where I can live and support myself and my family” Mohammad, one of the shepherds explain.
Kufr Ad-Dik is surrounded by three hilltop settlements: Bruchin, Alei Zahav and Pedu’el. A forth settlement is currently under construction, further strangling and prohibiting life inside the village. From the ruins of the demolished houses you can see the distant sky scrapers of Tel Aviv and in the good weather you can also see the Mediterranean Sea. Though a large highway cuts its way through their land, Palestinians are prohibited from using it. Instead they have to make a long detour to access villages nearby, insuring the safety of this “settler road”.
Most of the farm land is now area C, meaning that the area is under total Israeli control. Palestinians are unable to acquire any sort of building permit, yet still their livelihood depends on this land. The Israeli authorities claim that they are demolishing houses for security reasons. One of the farmers responds; “ I don’t have any guns or tanks, just my trees. Staying in area A is like living in a small prison.”
Aura and Robin are volunteers with International Solidarity Movement (names have been changed).