Israeli authorities have escorted by Israeli police delivered demolition orders in a number of Palestinian villages in the Negev in southern Israel
Israeli forces have delivered demolition notices in the villages of Khashim Zina, al-Zarnuq, and Umm Batin, as well as the al-Riwehi and Ghoural areas, according to Ma’an News Agency.
The Negev region has been a focus of protests since devastating demolition campaigns were carried out against the homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel this month in the central Israeli town of Qalansawe and in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, where a deadly police raid left a local Bedouin teacher and Israeli police officer dead.
In the wake of the demolitions, Bethlehem-based NGO BADIL argued in a report that the “oppressive measures” were part of the same Israeli policy of forcible displacement carried out against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“While 2016 witnessed a record number of home demolitions by Israel in the (occupied Palestinian territory), with 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures being demolished displacing 1,593 Palestinians, this increase has also taken place inside Israel itself,” the group said.
“All these oppressive measures by the Israeli authorities on both sides of the Green Line represent different manifestations of the same policy. In Umm al-Hiran the pretext was its status as an ‘unrecognized’ village; in Qalansawe, Susiya, and Jabal al-Mukabbir they were administrative home demolitions due to lack of building permits, with Jabal al-Mukabbir facing punitive home demolitions as well.”
BADIL went on to argue that “Israel is using different tactics that serve the same purpose of realizing the Zionist goal of ‘maximum amount of land with minimum number of Palestinians.’”
The report further argued that the recent demolitions in Umm al-Hiran and Qalansawe laid bare “connections between the oppressive Israeli policies against Palestinians living in both the (occupied Palestinian territory) and Israel.”
BADIL cautioned that the international community “rarely stressed” the forcible population transfer of Palestinians in both areas, despite the “daily manifestations” of the displacement of Palestinians, regardless of their status as residents of the occupied West Bank or East Jerusalem or citizens of Israel.