[creeping annexation] Israel forces demolish Palestinian Bedouin community in West Bank

Mustafa Abu Sneineh

Middle East Eye  /  July 14, 2021

Israeli army raid in Al-Qaboun left 11 Palestinian families homeless and saw tractors and solar energy units confiscated.

Israeli forces demolished an entire area housing a Palestinian Bedouin community near the city of Ramallah, in the central occupied West Bank, on Wednesday morning.

Israeli soldiers, accompanied by a crane and army vehicles, stormed the community of Al-Qaboun and demolished 11 structures – including tents, tin houses and sheep pens – and confiscated tractors, water tanks and solar energy units.

Palestinian activist Fares Kaabneh told official Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency Wafa that Israeli forces also confiscated the debris of the demolished tents and tin homes, in order to prevent the Palestinians from rebuilding their community again.

The demolished structures belonged to 11 Palestinian families in Al-Qaboun, located near Al-Mughayyir, a village northeast of Ramallah close to the eastern slopes of the Jordan Valley.

There are almost 150 Palestinians from 30 families living in the Al-Qaboun Bedouin community. Located in Area C – the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli security and civilian control, where Palestinian construction is largely banned – the residents of Al-Qaboun are under perpetual threat of home demolitions. 

Israel has built almost 230 settlements in Area C – in violation of international law – since it first began occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. Some 400,000 Israeli settlers live in Area C, as do 300,000 Palestinians living in 532 towns and villages.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into three areas under separate or joint Israeli and Palestinian control. While the PA was created in view of governing a future Palestinian state with sovereignty over at least some of Area C, this plan never materialized.

Israel has meanwhile adopted a policy of demolitions on Palestinian structures in Area C, while also clamping down on internationally funded humanitarian projects in the area.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of July, Israel has demolished 291 Palestinian houses and 130 funded humanitarian structures in the West Bank since January, displacing 592 people – 320 of them children. 

Mustafa Abu Sneineh – journalist, poet and staff writer at Middle East Eye