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Israeli military detains driver, confiscates vehicle donated for transport of schoolchildren in South Hebron Hills

CPTnet | November 19,  2013

On 18 November 2013 at 11:00, Mufid Abu Qbeita—the driver for the students who live in the South Hebron Hills area that the Israeli military has designated as “Firing Zone 918”—was driving children back to their homes from Al Fakheit school. Israeli Security Forces and representatives of the Israeli Civil Administration stopped him near Al-Sfai, one of the villages in the Firing Zone, while he had six children in the car.

Soldiers took his ID and detained him for thirty minutes; afterwards, they told him to follow them to Gush Etzion Police Station. Two soldiers accompanied Abu Qbeita in the car. He had to leave all six children in Al-Sfai.

Abu Qbeita informed the soldiers that the jeep belonged to the Palestinian Ministry of Education and was donated by Japan, but they still forced him to drive to the settlement of Gush Etzion. After several hours, they released him, but the jeep remains at the police station. When Abu Qbeita asked why the soldiers had confiscated the jeep, they answered, “Because you were driving in the firing zone of the South Hebron Hills which is not allowed.”

CPT, EAPPI and Operation Dove take turns accompanying Abu Qbeita and the SUV from the city of Yatta into the Firing Zone during the week, in order to prevent incidents like the above occurring, but until recently, once in the zone, he had not faced problems. On 27 October, eight Israeli soldiers detained him, verbally abused him, and then beat him on his abdomen, face, and back. Afterwards, they forced him drive over spikes used to stop vehicles at army checkpoints to puncture the SUV’s tires.

November 19, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Despite court order, Israeli military intimidates villagers in ‘Firing Zone 918’

CPTnet | October 31, 2013

In spite of the Israeli Defense Minister’s acceptance of the mediation proposal by the Israeli High Court to find a solution with the Palestinians [in the region] about the Israeli military’s use of Firing Zone 918, the pressure of the army on the local inhabitants does not decrease.

According to eyewitnesses, on Sunday, 20 October more than 300 soldiers arrived at the Israeli military base close to the villages of Jinba and Mirkez.  Some of them invaded fields between the two Palestinian villages and camped there.  For all the week, they did military drills in the area and invaded the Palestinian villages.  During the drills, soldiers broke into the village of Jinba, entering into private properties, preventing some Palestinian shepherds from grazing their sheep on Palestinian fields, intimidating and scaring the inhabitants. On the nights of Thursday 24 and Friday 25, the soldiers trained around the Palestinian village of Halaweh.  On the night of Wednesday 23, the soldiers entered in the houses of the Palestinian village of Al Mirkez, ransacking homes.

Finally, on Sunday, 27 October, eight Israeli soldiers stopped and detained the Palestinian who drives the school transport jeep around Masafer Yatta for the Palestinian Ministry of Education.  Every day he accompanies the elementary schoolchildren on their way from several remote villages to their school in Al Fakheit village.  The soldiers forced the driver to get out of the car; then they questioned him.  Moreover, the soldiers shouted at him and insulted him, and beat him on his abdomen, face and back.  Later, they forced the driver to get in the car and drive on the spikes used at army checkpoints in order to puncture the tires.

Despite the fact that the Ministry of Defence accepted the mediation with the [South Hebron Hills] Palestinians proposed by High Court of Justice, the Israeli government is continuing its policy of threats against the Masafer Yatta inhabitants.

The Italian peace group Operation Dove lives and works in the South Hebron Hills village of At-Tuwani. Christian Peacemaker Teams, Operation Dove, and EAPPI share responsibility for accompanying a vehicle intended for the transport of school children into an area of the South Hebron Hills the Israeli military has designated as “Firing Zone 918.”  The Operation Dove report has been edited by CPT for clarity.

November 1, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Military Calls for Demolition of West Bank Village

By Circarre Parrhesia | IMEMC and Agencies | July 27, 2012

Israeli daily Ha’aretz is reporting that the Israeli military has called for the demolition of a Palestinian village under the pretext that it is built on an archaeological site.

The village in question is Zanuta located in the South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank, situated close to the construction route of the annexation wall. The village falls under the designation of Area C, meaning that the Israeli military has full control of both administrative and security affairs under the guise of the so-called Civil Administration.

Ha’aretz states that the area was designated an archaeological area under the British Mandate, the period following the fall of the Ottoman empire till 1948 when several parts of the Middle East, including Palestine, where subject to occupation by the United Kingdom.

The military is claiming that the homes in the village, which comprise numerous improvised structures, were built without permission and that no master plan for the village is registered with the Civil Administration thus making all construction illegal.

Furthermore, the military has stated that it is not possible to grant retro-active permission and legalisation to the area despite many Israeli settlements and outposts receiving such leniency under the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank that is ongoing following the 6 Day War of 1967.

The South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank has had numerous villages targeted for demolition under the pretext that the villages are illegal under Israeli law, while the aforementioned settlements are given legal status despite the construction of outposts without preapproval from the State of Israel is illegal under Israeli law and all settlement construction on occupied land is illegal under international law.

In addition to discriminatory practices by the State of Israel and its military, Palestinians living in the area come under frequent attack from settlers residing in the area, who fall under the categorization of ‘ideological’, i.e. those Israelis who move to the West Bank as they believe that all of the occupied Palestinian territories should be annexed by Israel as part of a ‘greater Israel’, rather than those who reside in the West Bank due to subsidized housing provided by the Israeli government.

Alongside attacks to their persons and property such as their homes and vehicles, Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills whose sole income is dependent on shepherding live stock, regularly find their animals are stolen or killed during night time attacks.

July 27, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments