Israel’s Civil Administration has destroyed 23 homes, as well as 3 toilet facilities, near the southern Hebron area. The villages of Jinba and Halawa were targeted, leaving some 78 people without homes, 60 of whom are children.
The areas where the homes once stood are set to be used as military training grounds. The demolition may be a violation of international law, and the European Union seems to agree.
The process of destroying the homes was swift. An announcement came on Monday that the villagers’ attempt to remain in their homes was not successful, and the next day the Israeli Army returned to destroy them. They also seized private property, including solar panels and personal vehicles.
All the structures demolished on Tuesday were newly constructed dwellings, built in 2014 while the bridging process was in progress. They were made of concrete bricks, with corrugated tin roofs. Israel has not developed any construction plans for these villages, which have been there since the 19th century. Thus, any construction there is deemed illegal. However, natural growth and overcrowding have compelled residents to build even without permits.
Attorney Roni Pelli from ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel) slammed the operation, lamenting that “the day after the end of the bridging process the army rushed to demolish so many structures, leaving dozens of children, women and men without a roof over their heads in the coldest month of the year.”