Israel is, yet again, showing the world its utter disregard for Palestinian lives.
According to 972, Israel may be sending a group of 300 Palestinians living in a West Bank village set to be demolished to yet another small neighboring village that might be demolished in the near future.
Dkaika is a village where 300 Palestinian Bedouins currently live.
Located on the edge of the South Hebron Hills, in what is known as Area C, 114, out of the village's 140 structures have been slated for demolition.
In order to fight the government's decision, Professor Rasem Khamaisi, along with others in the village, submitted a plan that would keep the structures in place.
Unfortunately, Israel's Civil Administration refused to take into account the villagers' wishes and in 2014, the Palestinians living in Dkaika stood up again, petitioning the High Court to intervene.
At the time, villagers asked the judicial system to either order the Civil Administration to develop its own plan, which should accommodate villagers' request to remain in the same place, or to require the government reconsiders their plan.
As the High Court is set to hear the case this week, Palestinians from Dkaika fear for their lives.
If the Israeli court does not listen to their concerns, they might lose everything they have. And what's worse, the state might send them to Hamida, where Palestinians are also restricted from building. Meaning that, in no time, they might see their structures demolished just as they might see it happening in Dkaika.
Like Dkaika, Hamida is a village recognized as “independent” by the Palestinian Authority. In Dkaika, villagers built a school, a mosque, and even a cemetery that is dated back to the Ottoman Empire period.
Thanks to Israel's civil planning policies, which have been in place since the country started occupying the West Bank, Palestinians suffer greatly as they are often not allowed to build. On the other hand, Israeli settlements are greatly encouraged. As a result of this decision, which is based solely on religion sectarianism, Palestinians ended up being forced to build illegally.
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) tried to intervene on behalf of Palestinians in danger of losing their homes, filing at least four petitions in favor of villagers. In their pleas, RHR ask the court to recognize that villagers are the owners of their land and that the preservation of the village is essential to the maintenance of their unique culture and customs.
Essentially, what Israeli authorities are doing is to create a chaotic situation that forces Palestinians to simply leave, even if he or she is the legitimate owner that chunk of land, according to the Bedouin system. This, of course, gives them the freedom to give away land that doesn't belong to the state to Israeli settlers. Absolutely shameful.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa