30 November 2011
SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli military arrests two young women after demolishing
houses and mosque in Um Fagarah village.
On 24 November 2011, at 9:00 am, the Israeli army, with more
than five Israeli army jeeps and two bulldozers, drove into the small village
of Um Fagarah and demolished two houses and the village mosque. During the
demolition, they arrested a twenty-one-year-old woman and a seventeen-year-old
woman. They left one hour later.
One of the demolished homes belonged to a widow and her family; the other
housed an extended
family of twenty. The soldiers did not have demolition orders or give any
explanation for the demolitions, but called the village women ‘whores’ and
entered at a time of day when most of the men were away at work.
The second family’s 21-year-old daughter confronted the Israeli soldiers when
they marched into their home and began throwing the bedding outside. When
she asked what they were doing, one soldier said, “Get out of my sight.”
The daughter refused; in response, the soldier threatened, “If you don’t
move, we will do even more,” and sprayed her in the face with tear gas. The other soldiers began kicking her as she
fell to the ground. Her mother and
her neighbours then tried to pull her out of the way, but another soldier pushed the girl’s mother away and
the older woman fell, breaking her leg.
The seventeen-year-old tried to bring water to her cousin to soothe her eyes
inflamed by the tear gas. The soldiers arrested them both, and as of 27
November, they are imprisoned in Jerusalem.
The villagers began reconstruction of the mosque the next Saturday, the first
day of the Islamic New Year. People
from the surrounding villages came to support the action, including two people
from the International Solidarity Movement and members of CPT.
According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel has demolished
over 170 homes in 2011, displacing roughly 880 people.