On the rubble of their homes… Beekeepers recount their suffering with Israeli demolitions and settlements

The occupation and settlers besiege the “Beekeepers” residents by closing agricultural roads with earth mounds, cement blocks or iron barriers, and hand them demolition notices from time to time, amounting to 150 homes threatened with destruction on the pretext of not having a permit or because they are located in areas controlled by the occupation.

Video duration 03 minutes 11 seconds

Bethlehem- In an area overlooking the rest of the lands of Nahalin town, to the southwest of Bethlehem, Ibrahim Ghayada, the deputy mayor of its municipality, stood on the rubble of a house recently demolished by the Israeli occupation, on the pretext that it was built without a permit.

The location of Gayada is opposite the settlement of “Betar Illit”, which is built on the lands of Nahalin and Husan, west of Bethlehem, in the south of the West Bank. It is one of 4 settlements built on the lands of the town, namely, “Jebab’ot”, the “Gush Etzion settlement complex” and the settlement of “Daniel”.

Remains of a house demolished by the occupation in the town of Nahalin under the pretext of building without a permit (Al-Jazeera)

Nakba and setback

In the era of the British Mandate for Palestine, the area of ​​Nahalin was 24,000 dunams (a dunam is one thousand square metres). In the Nakba 1948, the occupation confiscated 4,000 dunams to fall within the occupied borders inside, and the same was confiscated in the Naksa (the 1967 war).

The settlements were established on its four sides, and today only 1,100 dunams of its lands remain, inhabited by 10,000 people, classified as Area B according to the Oslo Agreement, and another 4,000 dunams classified as Area C according to that agreement; Which is prohibited for the people of Nahalin to access, and has become under the spears of settlers who expand their settlements from time to time.

Despite the constant fear of the settlers’ bullets and the Israeli occupation army, the people stuck to their lands in Area C (under full occupation control), and preserved them as agricultural lands. Building roads, and setting up agricultural rooms in them to protect them, but everything Palestinian in Nahalin is attacked by the occupation and its settlers.

Ibrahim Ghayada says – after standing in front of Al Jazeera Net camera on the rubble of a demolished house – that the occupation authorities completely isolated the town from its surroundings, especially from the city of Bethlehem, by closing all roads leading to it, especially the “Kilo 17 Road”, which used to connect it to the heart of the city during 10 minutes by car.

But today – according to Ghayada – you have to pass from the town of Al-Khader, passing through the bottom of the settlement street, in what is known as the Al-Khader Tunnel, and then to the town of Husan, and to a side street that passes under a road that leads the settlers to the settlement of “Beitar Illit”, and then to the rest of the town beekeepers

Fadi Al-Asa/ Pictures of a settlement "Petar Illit" One of four settlements besieging Nahalin on each side and expanding continuously at the expense of the rest of its landsThe settlement of “Betar Illit” is one of 4 settlements that besiege Nahalin from each side at the expense of the rest of its lands (Al-Jazeera)

agricultural blockade

Occupation soldiers and settlers are also chasing the townspeople, by closing agricultural roads with earth mounds, cement blocks or iron barriers.

The occupation issues demolition notices from time to time, amounting to 150 homes threatened with destruction on the pretext of non-licensing, or because they are in areas classified as “C” according to the “Oslo” agreement.

In agricultural seasons, settlers also target these lands, according to Ghayada, and deliberately open their wastewater there. This leads to crop damage and difficulty in entering these lands.

With the man, we moved to the heart of the town, which is clearly overcrowded, because the occupation prevents the residents from horizontal expansion and threatens them with demolition or actually implements the demolition in the event of additional construction.

This is what happened with Atef Al-Nays, the school teacher, who built a house on his land, which is about 10 kilometers away from the nearest settlement. However, he was surprised that his house was raided and demolished.

Fadi Al-Asa / Pictures of one of the demolished Palestinian houses, showing behind it the settlements built on the lands of the town of Nahalin, whose lands have been reduced by the occupation from 24,000 dunams to 5,000 dunamsThe demolished Palestinian houses and settlements built on the lands of Nahalin town (Al-Jazeera) appear behind them.

New home demolition

The porcupine tells Al Jazeera Net that the occupation demolished his house, which only lasted 4 months, as is the case with (150) newly built houses, which are threatened with demolition for construction near the settlement.

Muhammad, 10, approached his father, who was sitting on the rubble of the house, and said that the occupation demolished his place of play, and his only breathing space, after he was living in his grandfather’s house in the center of the town.

His 12-year-old brother Ibrahim asked, “Why did Israel demolish our house? What affects them? It is far from even the settlements established on our land, and there are those who ask us why we hate and resist the occupier?!”

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