After 5 hours of razing, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) destroyed an entire community in Khirbet Humsa in the northern Jordan Valley. This scene is being repeated as part of a policy of fait accompli to impose occupation control over the region.
On Tuesday afternoon 03/11/2020, IOF invaded the area and wrought destruction and devastation everywhere, displacing 74 civilians including 41 children.
Witness to crimes
People, dwellings and animals were attacked by the IOF in Khirbet Humsa, which bore witness to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.
According to a report by B’Tselem, the IOF soldiers raided Khirbet Humsa, accompanied by two bulldozers, two excavators and military jeeps. This Israeli force demolished 18 tents and barracks that were inhabited by 11 families of 74 people, 41 of whom were minors.
IOF also destroyed 29 tents and barracks that were used as pens for livestock, three barracks used as storerooms, nine tents for kitchens, ten portable toilets, two solar panels, 23 water tanks, ten sheds for livestock, and containers for placing food and water for livestock.
The Israeli forces destroyed more than thirty tons of fodder and confiscated two cars and two tractors of three Palestinian residents, according to the report.
Khirbet Humsa is one of dozens of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley that are subjected to systematic destruction operations to displace their residents as part of the policy of ethnic cleansing pursued by the IOF.
Moataz Bisharat, the official in the Northern Valley file in the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, confirms that Khirbet Humsa was declared a disaster area after the widespread destruction committed by IOF which is tantamount to ethnic cleansing.
Bisharat told the PIC, “The occupation (soldiers) stormed the area on Tuesday evening and destroyed 75 facilities within hours. This is one of the largest demolition crimes in the region for years.”
He confirmed that the demolition did not spare the sheep pens, portable bathhouses, solar cells and water tanks, adding that the area looked as if it was struck by an earthquake.
Legalization of the destruction
Through a relatively recent military decision, Israel made it easier for itself to implement a policy of reducing the Palestinian presence in the lands which aspires to seize.
According to Israeli data, the occupation authorities confiscated 242 caravans during this year 2020 while during the year 2019, it confiscated about 700 tractors and diggers and uprooted about 7,500 trees that were planted in the lands of Area C.
The so-called Civil Administration, the occupation’s arm in the occupied West Bank, boasts that it has managed to reduce the number of international relief projects submitted to the Palestinians in Area C, such as installing caravans and constructing infrastructure. The number of projects was reduced to 12 projects during 2019 compared to 75 similar projects implemented during 2015.
The B'Tselem report notes that the whole world is now facing the corona crisis but Israel decided during this particular period to double efforts and resources in oppressing the Palestinians instead of helping them.
IOF tries to justify the demolition campaigns as an alleged enforcement of planning and building laws to confront building violations. Nevertheless, these unfounded allegations have no meaning in the absurdity of the nihilistic reality that Israel has established, as it refrains from issuing building permits to the Palestinians and forces them to build without a permit.
Ahmed Abu Zuhri, a human rights activist, underlined that while Israel claims it was freezing the annexation plan; looting, demolition, settlement expansion and land confiscation indicate that de facto annexation continues and nothing has changed on the ground.
Zuhri pointed out that Israel continues to act in the occupied territories as if it is its own and prevents any Palestinian development throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.