Head of Dqaiqeh Village Council – They are Demolishing Our village

The Bedouin village of Dqaiqeh (Khirbet a-Duqaiqah (https://www.btselem.org/.south_hebron_hills/duqaiqah ) is located a few hundred meters to the east of Masfer Yatta. Thus, it is not part of military zone 918. Yet, it suffers from much of the restrictions and abuse that was inflicted recently by the occupation forces on Masafer Yatta. Below is a letter that we received form our old friend Muhammad Ka’abne, who serves now as the Head of Dqaiqeh Village Council      . 

For Muhammad’s personal story see https://living-archive.org/movie/an-ambassador-for-love/?lang=en

They are Demolishing Our village– Please support us!!

The villagers of Dqaiqeh originate from the A-Ka’abne tribe whose roots reach back to the beginning of the Islamic conquests. According to historians, it was the first tribe to arrive in Palestine from the Arabian Peninsula. The people of the tribe settled south-east of Hebron. After the 1948 Nakba and according to the armistice line, two thirds of the tribe’s habitat were allocated to Israel’s territory. The village Dqaiqeh itself remained close to the 1949 armistice line between Israel and Jordan, in Jordanian territory, and suffered from both sides. Subsequently, many of the tribe’s people migrated northward, to the area surrounding Jerusalem and Ramallah, as well as to Jordan.

In 1967, after Israel occupied the West Bank from Jordan, Dqaiqeh became an ‘unrecognized village’. Its inhabitants continued to make their living mainly from sheep, goat and camel husbandry. But the occupation authorities have surrounded the village, suffocating it more and more over the years, in order to uproot them from their homes and habitat – entry into grazing grounds was banned, water cisterns were destroyed, and especially dozens of demolition orders were issued to homes and other structures of the villagers. Yet the people did not give up: they held onto their lands, and their perseverance and determination did not falter. This holding onto the land contributed to  the Israeli Civil Administration recently recognizing the village and enabling the preparation of a masterplan for it. Indeed, the inhabitants subsequently built dozens of homes, but unfortunately their joy did not last. The occupation army established a base a mere few hundred meters to the south of the village, and its soldiers have taken over the hilltops, in order to shrink the grazing grounds of shepherds in the desert and deny them the ability to water their flocks from the cisterns dug out by their forefathers years before the beginning of the Israeli occupation.

Now, additional steps are being taken that might cause the complete destruction of the village: as a part of a comprehensive project of erecting the Separation Barrier in the southern part of the West Bank, the occupation army is now opening a dirt road and digging an adjacent deep ditch running very close to the village. Thus, it is compromising the lives of children and animals, exposing them to dirt avalanches in the summer and disasters in the winter, when the ditch will be filled with flood water.

In this situation, we turn to the free nations of the world and to international institutions, to the mass media, and to the Israeli people – listen to our cry for help and stand by us in the name of morality, protect us and stop the Israeli bulldozers from continuing their shameful undertaking against the villagers who have always sought peace and only wish to make a decent livelihood and to be free to move with their flocks and to cross with them the armistice line (the ‘Green Line’), both of whose sides are ruled by the same state (Israel).

Please come and visit us, be our honored guests and you will see a sad village in every sense of the word – an army surrounds it nearly from all sides, and bulldozers are wrecking its lands on a daily basis. The villagers feel like prisoners for life.

We salute and thank any free person anywhere who will stand by this sad village and spread all over the world this information about the injustice being done to us, unhindered.

 Muhammad Ka’abne, Head of Dqaiqeh Village Council

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