Last week, on June 26, the IDF “Civil Administration” handed to Mahmud Hammada, the Mukhtar of the cave-dweller village Mufkara, demolition orders for three structures in the village – the Mosque, the generator shed and the residence of Mohamed (the sole conventionally built structure in the village). Mufkara is one of the cave communities that the occupation authorities included in the “firing zone #918, whose residents were expelled back in November 1999. A Supreme Court order however allowed the villagers to return (April 2000) however it refrained from a decision regarding their basic right to dwell there.
Following a lengthy legal procedure since that decision, the army approved de-facto (through an affidavit to the Supreme Court) the status of Mufkara as an existing community. Due to the long time passed since the expulsion, Mufkara residents finally gathered the required courage and built a tiny mosque for their own use (area about 120 square feet), and a shed sheltering the generator that supplies electricity to the community (3 hours a day). The recent demolition orders pose a threat to the basic survival of the community.
It should be noted that just several hundred meters to the south-west of Mufkara, a Jewish outpost was established in 2001-“Abigail”. The outpost lacks legal authorization, however it was connected by the Israeli authorities to the water and electricity grids, and a paved asphalt road over 1 km long links it to the main road. It is needless to mention that no demolitions where ordered at the illegal outpost, which continues to thrive and expand on the Mufkara residents’ grazing grounds.
The Villages Group