7 December 2023 | International Solidarity Movement | Masafer Yatta, Occupied West Bank
In just over one week, several Palestinian family homes were relegated to fields of rubble after occupation army bulldozers invaded several villages including al Deirat, Umm Lasafa and Umm Qissa. The demolitions left Palestinian children and their families homeless as the targeted destruction and expulsion of Masafer Yatta communities continues to accelerate.
On December 6, Occupation forces took the opportunity to demolish a sheep barn in Umm Qissa overnight during their destructive incursion in furtherance of the attacks on the shepherding and farming infrastructure of Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills. Coupled with the violent raids, antagonism and invasion of Palestinian homes by extremist ideological settlers, the pattern of harassment towards the achievement of a land ethnically cleansed of indigenous Palestinians grinds forth.
Taking advantage of the gap in coverage with the world’s eyes on the genocide in Gaza, and the isolated nature of the villages of Masafer Yatta, the occupation army has enabled and participated in the increasing momentum of settler terrorist attacks along with the destruction of residences to force Palestinian expulsion.
On December 3, settler extremists invaded Esfay, Maghayir Al-Abid and At-Tuba, leaving behind them the destroyed water network of a wide swathe of villagers of the South Hebron Hills communities. With surgical exacting, occupation forces are removing all elements of a people’s ability to exist; from the slashing of water cisterns to the destruction of water flow pipes, a community without water cannot survive. In image after image filtering out of the embattled villages, homes are seen crashing down under the gears of army-driven bulldozers while armed IOF stand guarding the destruction from intervention.
On OCHA’s data on demolition and displacement in the West Bank website rolling figures which “reflect the demolition of Palestinian-owned structures and the resulting displacement of people from their homes across the West Bank since 2009” are updated every 48 hours. The numbers continue to grow and the project of colonial expansion continues to saturate the occupied West Bank.