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Israeli forces displace ‘74 Palestinians, including 41 minors’ after razing Bedouin village Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces displace ‘74 Palestinians, including 41 minors’ after razing Bedouin village

The dismantled structures were home to 74 Palestinians [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 February, 2021

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An Israeli rights group said the demolition at Khirbet Humsa was 'unusually broad' amid residents’ fears that Israeli settlers will seize the vacated lands.
Israeli forces have resumed the demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank for the second time in three months, Reuters report.

B'Tselem, an Israeli rights group, has deplored the move as an attempt to displace an entire Palestinian community from the area.

Israeli soldiers dismantled tents and livestock pens in Khirbet Humsah, a makeshift village in the northern West Bank's Jordan Valley on Monday, residents and B'Tselem said.

On Wednesday, Israeli army bulldozers toppled steel and wooden structures in the village, according to footage captured by Reuters.

The dismantled tents were home to 74 Palestinians, including 41 children, according a statement by B'Tselem, supposedly due to their situation close to an Israeli army firing range.

COGAT, the Israeli army branch responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, said it had explained to residents "the dangers involved in staying within the firing range" and offered them space out of it.

Israel claims that the village has been constructed illegally and without permits on a military firing range. Palestinians and rights groups say such permits are virtually impossible to obtain from Israel.

The Bedouin community's residents were defiant as their livelihoods crumbled, vowing to remain at the site, as some slept on mattresses and plastic tarps strewn on the rocky soil.

Tented homes and animal shelters in the village were demolished in November - described at the time by the UN as "the largest forced displacement incident" of Palestinian homes in over four years - but resident returned soon after.

Read also: UN condemns Israeli demolition of entire Palestinian village in Jordan Valley

"We will not move from here, we will stay here. If they demolish, we will rebuild," said Ibrahim Abu Awad, a village reisident.

Amid residents' fears that Israeli settlers will seize the vacated lands, B'Tselem said the current demolition at Khirbet was "unusually broad", accusing Israel of forcibly transferring Palestinian communities "in order to take over their land".

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