Destruction in T’ahala and Al Arkeez 15.2.2012.
At-Tuwani — On February 15th 2012, the Israeli Army demolished five buildings in the Palestinian village of Saadet Tha’lah and destroyed a water tank and tore down 50 trees in the Palestinian village of Ar Rakeez.
At around 12 a.m. two bulldozers and three vehicles of DCO (Disctrict Coordination Office) raided in the village of Saadet Tha’lah, escorted by four jeeps of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). One house, two water tanks and two stables for the flocks were demolished. The inhabitants said they were not allowed to rescue their animals, and five lambs died under the rubble. The owners declared their buildings were under demolition order since 2004.
After the demolitions in Saadet Tha’lah, the army vehicles and the bulldozers reached the nearby Palestinian village of Ar Rakeez, where they demolished one water tank under construction and uprooted 20 olive trees and 30 almond trees planted less than one year ago.
The Palestinian villages of Saadet Tha’lah and of Ar Rakeez are situated in the South Hebron Hills area, near Karmel Israeli settlement and near Avigayl outpost respectively, which are constantly expanding without any kind of restriction by the Israeli authorities, even though the outposts are considered illegal according to Israeli law.
Both the villages are located in Area C, under Israeli civil and military administration. In this area every construction must be approved by the Israeli civil administration. According to OCHA oPt, 70% of Area C is off-limits to Palestinian construction, 29% is heavily restricted and less than 1% has been assigned by the Israeli Civil Administration for Palestinian development. Since 2011 Operation Dove registered an increase in the area of demolitions, in particular against electric and water services.
This policy of restrictions, closure, demolition, evacuation and abuse, combined with continuing violence by settlers in the area, denies Palestinians their human rights, and by hinders the possibility of living in their villages and cultivating their lands, by preventing their development.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills are strongly involved in affirming their rights and resist the Israeli occupation using non-violent means.
Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.