The Palestinian Bedouin community at Khirbet Al Humsa (also known as Humsa Al B’qai’a) have now had their community demolished and belongings confiscated multiple times. The inhabitants number over 70 people including children and newborn babies, who were left to spend a harsh winter in donated tents.
From November 2020, the Israeli military have made repeated incursions into the village, demolishing and confiscating living accommodation, water infrastructure, portable toilets, solar panels, livestock and pens and vehicles in the largest demolition and displacement in years.
Resident Abdelghani Awada, left homeless by the operation, told the AFP news agency that the Israelis gave people “10 minutes to evacuate our homes”.
“Then, they started bulldozing,” he said.
He said his family had lived in the area for generations and accused Israel of trying to “empty the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian population”. Their village is situated near two illegal settlements. The Israeli military have designated the land as a “military zone” in an effort to clear it of the Palestinian population and make a land grab easier for nearby settlers.
The extensive demolition of property and displacement of the civilian population by the occupying powers is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and may amount to a war crime.