Waking up in the early morning of 26th September, the family of the Palestinian Taleb Zaid was shocked and terrified by the Israeli bulldozers and other heavy demolition equipment surrounding their house, causing severe panic for the family’s children.
Despite the fact that the family of 11 had obtained a court decision preventing the demolition of their 23-year-old house, they were forced to evacuate due to the sudden unannounced, and illegal demolition.
Now they have nothing in their possession except for thin and simple tents that offer no shelter from the scorching summer heat or the harsh winter cold. All they have left from their demolished homes are the clothes on their backs.
Zaid’s plight is part of thousands of Palestinians enduring hardship in the Al-Nuaimah village north of Jericho. Here the Israeli occupation attempts to ethnically cleanse them by house demolition orders, claiming Palestinians are prohibited from living in the areas classified as Zone C.
Israeli occupation forces also cruelly demolished the sheep pen belonging to Taleb’s family; the assault forced him to relocate his sheep to his neighbor’s pen. His brother also lost his house in the same manner five months ago.
Zaid’s family is among the 70 Palestinian families residing among the Zayed tribe in Al-Nuaimah where everyone has received demolition orders. They remain in constant fear that the Israelis may demolish their entire community, explained tribal leader Suleiman Zayed.
The Israeli occupation’s “Civil Administration” targets his tribe because it is adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of “Mevot Yericho”, Zayed noted. The Palestinian homes separate the illegal Israeli settlers from directly reaching a Jewish “synagogue Ne’aran” to practice religious rituals.
“The settlement is gradually encroaching toward our lands, and they try to evacuate the area to connect the settlement to the “synagogue” directly. We all here have demolition orders for everything, whether houses, barns, or even electricity poles and water lines,” Zayed added.
Since 2000, all facilities in the Zayed community have been threatened with demolition. The Israeli occupation has demolished about 15 houses whose residents live in tents or plastic shelters.
“We are struggling with the already-existing challenges in the community where there are no formal water lines, so the residents use water from a nearby spring unsure of its health safety,” Zayed confirmed.
The village of Al-Nuaimah has only four electric meters from which all the other families draw make-shift lines to their houses, most of which are simply and haphazardly lying on the ground.
The occupation’s refusal to adequately extend power to the community places residents at constant risk of shock and electrocution. The closest medical treatment is ten kilometers away in Jericho.
Reported by Sejood Shneewra
Edited by: Lawrence Maushard