Yatta herders fear demolitions

April 20, 2011

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Villagers in the southern West Bank governorate of Yatta said they feared the immanent demolition of their homes and animal sheds Wednesday, as a demolition order handed out by Israeli forces the week before came into effect.

The residents of Um Zeitouna, southeast of Yatta, received orders from Israel’s Civil Administration in early April warning that their homes were to be demolished, citing a lack of permit.

A dozen tents and animal shelters were listed as illegal by the orders. The majority of buildings set for demolition belong to the families of Mahmoud Abu Taha, Muhammad Abu Taha and Ibrahim Al-Da’ajneh, the residents said.

The demolitions come as UN officials warned of a doubling of home and building demolitions carried out by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2011.

“I am not saying this is classic ethnic cleansing, but the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned this discrimination and make no mistake, it is discrimination against one ethnic group,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness commented following the release of the demolition figures.



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