The Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC): “The Israeli Occupation Authorities threatens to evict the inhabitants of Masafer Yatta.”
Hebron – UAWC stated that the Israeli Occupation Authorities escalated their procedures against the inhabitants of Masafar Yatta areat, to the East of Yatta Town in Hebron Province. And that after a series of demolition and threatening orders to evict the inhabitants from their home areas to be converted into an Israeli Military Closed area.
UAWC indicated that this area is of constant attention by the Israeli Occupation Authorities; as being located on the border with the Green Line’s areas, especially Jenba Area. The Union alluded to the escalating pressure on the area’s inhabitants in 2012 especially after the order of the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to evict eight communities in Masafer Yatta and turn it to an Israeli military training area. Accordingly, warnings for demolition and closing Ber El’ad were handed to the inhabitants, where the number of warnings in Khirbet Jenba and Saffi were 29. One month ago, the Occupation Authorities handed a warning to Khirbet Tuba’s inhabitants. However, a lawyer has been assigned, and thus the court postponed the implementation of the order in Khirbet “several small rural communities” Jenba and Saffa Al-Fuqa, not to mention the demolition warnings for all Susiya and Al-Rahwa’s inhabitants.
The inhabitants of Masafer Yatta explained for a delegation of UAWC, visited the area, that they are suffering from harassments by the Israeli soldiers represented in arresting people and confiscation of tractors and combine harvesters. The Israeli occupation forces has also expelled and evicted Jenba’s inhabitants, in 2000, considering that the area is a closed military zone. Moreover; a court injunction has been issued, in March of the same year, states that the road on Khirbet Al-Masafer should be open until the court gives its final decision on the above mentioned military order, but there was nothing from the court so far. As a sequence, the inhabitants stated that the area suffered over the past years many occasions to close the roads leading to the Khirbat in Masafer Yatta. The Israeli Occupation Authorities, intentionally, demolished the health units of Jenba, Al-Markaz, and Saffi Al-Fuqa but the inhabitants had given a lawyer a power of attorney and a court decision requires stopping the demolition. The Union showed that Masafer Yatta area contains a group of Kherbat; Al-Majaz, Al-Taban, Saffi Al-Fuqa, Saffi Al-Tahta, Al-Tuba, Magayer Al-Abeed, El-Fekhet, Al-Hawaleh, Al-Markaz, Janba and Ber El’ad with an area of 45000 dunums . Masafer Yatta is a semi-desert area with an average annual rainfall of 120mm. According to the statics, the number of Masafer Yatta inhabitants is 768 people, in 2007. Currently, its population is about 1100 people. However, the entire population, who lives in this area, consists of farmers and livestock breeders. The estimated number of sheep in Masafer Yatta area is about 1400 head of sheep. Moreover; the area is devoid of the water, electricity and transportation, and nowadays Masafer Yatta has two Coeducation Elementary Schools; one in Jenba with 35 students and the other in El-Fekhet with 45 students.
Apparently, the Israeli Occupation Authorities aim to destroy the Palestinian economy, population displacement and colonies expansion. This foreshadows the escalating of the Israeli violations against Masafer Yatta inhabitants in the coming days.