Demolitions in Umm al-Kheir Last Week – Eyal’s Report

Wednesday April 6, 07:30 am 2016

I called Eid. The first time the phone hung up before Eid answered. The second time Eid seemed to be panting. When I asked him how is he? He replies “shit, they are destroying houses here” I even hadn’t had tea in the morning. ”

My heart was pounding, I told him to breathe deeply. What can I say more? Eid engaged in conversations with the officer in charge and the Civil Administration officer and I promised him I’d call back later. “Be strong.”

I sent short text to friends and acquaintances, “there aredemolitions now in Umm al Kheir“.

In Another half an hour I have to start a long day of classes and treatments.

I sat up to breathe myself. I am totally with Eid, with the people of Umm al Kheir. Even though I am half an hour from them I cannot break away from thinking about them. So much, I would like to cancel this working day and to be with them. Even if I can do nothing there, beyond supporting, understanding and comforting their bad fate.

At noon I called him again. Happily, he sounds as if he came back to himself. He tells me they destroyed six buildings and a bulldozer moved very close to his home. He was in fear his house was on the list too.  And he saw an aerial photo of his home also marked….

“It’s only a matter of time and bureaucracy” he says.

Thursday 7 April 9:00 am 2016

I went to Umm al Kheir with cake.  Sarah’s two-year old rabbit was sitting on the ruins of her home as if he did not feel that his house was demolished…

Ehud Nadav and Danny came too. We sat in a house near the ruins of a Malicha’s kitchen and the home of Nora and Cheiry and little Sara. This time, unlike in previous demolitions in Umm al Kheir, people are much more level-headed and practical as they plan how to move forward.

Many come to visit, various international organizations, Palestinian and our Israeli representatives.  Tarek asks me to help them to start to build the house of Zaid who married last summer. After a breakfast of hummus with tomato at his mother kitchen, I roll up my sleeves, but in the end this day is just talking and everyone must give testimony of what happened.

Yesterday I asked someone who works in a government office that maps the unrecognized villages in Israel, “In recent years there is increasing demolitions, what is the point of all this destruction?”

“What we know, he replies, ” is that for every house that we demolish they set up two! ”

“So” I say “why are we continuing it?”

“How would we know how many they build if we did not destroy!!!”

When I am asked sometimes why I come to Umm al Kheir, Susya, Mufakara, Tuba and other villages in the southern Hebron hills, I say that I have friends there and I want them to know that not everyone in Israel would like to obliterate them.

I wish that many people, especially those in complex responsible and powerful positions from prime ministers to Civil Administration inspectors, will wake up and understand life; that everything is connected to everything else and is constantly changing.

Eyal

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Comments

  • Christopher Rushlau  On April 16, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Can you confirm that someone registered as Jewish with the government has a hundred times better chance of being granted a building permit as someone listed as non-Jewish? Is there anything other than that fact at the root of the building demolition issue?

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