PRESS RELEASE | Palestinian village under demolition threat, Firing Zone 918

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PRESS RELEASE
Palestinian village under demolition threat, Firing Zone 918, South Hebron Hills

At-Tuwani – On March 6 the Israeli army and District Coordination Office (DCO) delivered 20 stop working orders in the Palestinian community of Khallet Athaba’, in the Firing Zone 918, South Hebron hills.

At around 9 am DCO officials, escorted by an army jeep, entered the Palestinian hamlet of Khallet Athaba’ and delivered 20 stop working orders. The orders concern four water cisterns, four houses (three of concrete and one house-tent), two tents, three toilets, three stables and four additional buildings. The owners will appeal to prevent the stop working orders from turning into demolition orders.

Five families and about fifty people live in the Palestinian village of Khallet Athaba’. Almost all the buildings of the village are now under threat of demolition and all five families of the village are affected.

Khallet Athaba’ is located in Area C, within Firing Zone 918, and currently faces the threat of eviction, just like an additional seven villages of Firing Zone 918 (Isfey, al Fakheit, al Majaz, at Tabban, Jinba, Mirkez and Halaweh). The Israeli army -designated Firing Zone, located in the South Hebron Hills, includes 12 Palestinian villages and 1300 people. On July 19, 2012 the Israeli state, following instructions from the Ministry of Defense, filed a notification to the High Court claiming eviction of eight of these 12 villages for military needs, declaring that the 1000 Palestinians living in the villages are not “permanent residents”. The inhabitants of the area filed two petitions to the High Court in this matter and are now waiting for Israel’s response.

According to an August 2012 fact sheet produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA-oPt), (The humanitarian impact of Israeli-declared “Firing Zones” in the West Bank), “Firing zone residents are among the most vulnerable in the West Bank”. These residents suffer from a lack of services and infrastructures whilst facing human rights violations such as harassment by soldiers or access and movement restrictions. “These conditions contribute to a coercive environment that creates pressure on Palestinian communities to leave these areas”.

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/26jvt6l

For further information:
Operation Dove, 054 99 25 773

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