Army demolishes houses, part of school in South Hebron Hills

13.01.11 |By: EAPPI

Nasser Najadah next to the ruins in Dkaika (Photo: A Skaardal, EAPPI).

“On the morning of January 12, children of Dkaika were in school and the families were going through their morning routines. Suddenly, the army appeared and the demolitions began,” reported international accompaniers from EAPPI yesterday.

Among the structures demolished were a classroom at the Gayya primary school. The UN reported that seven homes and an animal shelter were demolished, displacing 46 people.

The accompaniers’ journey yesterday to Dkaika was delayed by military checkpoints. When they arrived, the buildings had already been destroyed. EAs reported that there were four bulldozers present, along with Israeli military civil administration officials and guarded by up to one hundred soldiers.

One of the village women, Hamdah Najadah, told accompaniers: “Two policewoman stopped me when I wanted to go in to the house and take out the furniture and our things before they demolished it. They would not let me,” she told them.

“They destroyed everything, even the coffee, sugar and flour. Where will we sleep? It is winter, and bad weather is coming. God be with us!”

There are around 39 families in Dkaika village. Nasser Najadah (the man in the photo attached) is 73 years old and was born in the village. His family lost 7 buildings, including the one where they sleep. Three villagers, among them two teachers, were arrested.

The homes that were demolished yesterday were homes that were not covered by the restraining orders. The 4th Geneva Convention states that “any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property… is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.” (Article 53). No notification was given to the villagers as to when the demolitions would happen.

Many other houses in the village have demolition orders from the Israeli courts, says the Israeli human rights group Rabbis for Human Rights. The group has been attempting to get a master plan for Dkaika approved by the Israeli courts. Some houses are temporarily protected from demolition pending a court decision on the plan.

“When the hearing on the zoning plan happens, the decision will not be made simply on planning criteria, but political criteria will be involved so it’s hard to be optimistic,” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, General Secretary of Rabbis for Human Rights.

The Red Cross provided tents for the villagers who lost their homes yesterday.

Army demolishes houses, part of school in South Hebron Hills.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: