Area C strikes fear into the heart of Palestinians as homes are destroyed

Palestinians watch an Israeli excavator destroying a Palestinian house in a village in the West Bank. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty images

The Israeli government defends the continued settlement construction particularly in the major settlements which it calls “population centres”, saying it will not build new settlements or expropriate more land. “In the population centres and in Jerusalem the reality on the ground will not be the same in the future as it is today,” Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said last month. “There will be more additional building as part of the reality of life and this is something that was explained …”

Not all the cases of demolition involve homes. In January, Israeli forces uprooted 3,200 trees, destroyed water cisterns and stone terraces in fields near Beit Ula, close to Hebron, in the southern West Bank. Again this was in area C. The civil administration said the demolition was an “enforcement activity” carried out after legal warnings.

But in this case the target was a €64,000 (£51,000) project from the European commission which began two years ago to provide a livelihood for the villagers, several of whom also put their own money into the planting.

“It was a tragedy for us,” said Sami al-Adam, 46, a farmer who had put in 45,000 shekels. “They’re tearing me out by my roots. They want to destroy Palestinian farmers psychologically and economically.”

Ref: Guardian

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