Who has the power to do this to us?

By EA Anne, Southern West Bank

“Which country or human being does this to us? Who has the power to do this? We live in the desert, with little water, and have now lost our houses. We only want a simple life in the desert, with a simple house to live in. Even this, we cannot do. What do we do? Where do we go?”

Abdullah, citizen of Khashem ad-Daraj [Photo: EAPPI/Anne]

 Monday morning, 14 August 2017. These pictures tell the tale of the arrival of Israeli authorities, workers (army, civil administration, labourers) and bulldozers to the Bedouin community of Khashem ad-Daraj. We photographed the demolition, the aftermath, those affected, onlookers, the departure of Israeli authorities when the job was complete, and finally Abdullah, offering hospitality in the wake of being made homeless. Four residences were demolished.

 The bulldozer approaches one house to be demolished [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

 Adbullah, owner of one of the houses, is informed [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

 Army and Civil Administration arrive [Photo: EAPPI /Anne]

 

 

 Preparing to clear the houses [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]


 Removal of cables [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

Area and people [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

  Under guard [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

The demolition of a home [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

It is against international humanitarian law (the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 53) for an occupying power to demolish personal property of the occupied people, unless for absolutely necessary military operations.

 

Having to sit and watch [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

People amidst the devastation [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

Under Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention the occupying power has a duty of care to the people in the occupied territory.

Watching [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 Aftermath – what is left – and those who watch [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

 

Job done – departure [Photo: EAPPI / Anne]

Abdullah a few days later – we listen, sympathise and drink tea [Photo: EAPPI /Anne]

Khashem al-Daraj is a Bedouin community in the far south of the West Bank. The master plan (plan for structural development) for the community was delivered to the village by Israeli authorities around 2009. This did not include some structures in the northeastern corner of the village, this area having been included in a wider area declared as a military firing zone for practice by the Israeli army. On Monday 14 August 2017 four residences were demolished by Israeli authorities. Thirty three people were made homeless, including 23 children. One adult was sick, and some disabled.

Use this story to lobby your elected representative (for example your MP, AM or MSP in the UK, or TD in Ireland) about the humanitarian suffering caused by Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and the violation of international humanitarian law that this signifies.