On May Day, 1 May, at 7:45 a.m., CPTers received a call from Noah al-Rajabi in the Palestinian town of Bani Naim (Hebron District). Al-Rajabi reported that the army and bulldozers were demolishing his cousin’s home and threatening to demolish the family’s farm. He urged CPT to come and to call the media and other internationals to bear witness to what was happening.
Two CPTers arrived and saw six military jeeps, three police vehicles, and three intelligence service vehicles at the main road near al-Rajabi’s house. Initially, Israeli authorities prevented CPTers from approaching the scene. When CPTers asked why they were demolishing the farm, a soldier replied, “Because we are the army.”
The CPTers could see a Caterpillar and a Hyundai bulldozer destroying a farm building and a mobile home in which the family lived.
The children of the family came and took CPTers through the fields to get a closer view of the destruction. The two bulldozers had started to raze a large corrugated iron barn where the family kept their cows; in the process they destroyed milking machines and other equipment worth over US$8,000.
The farmer told CPTers, “Destroying my home…I can rebuild, and while I am rebuilding I can stay with another family member. But destroying my farm! That not only destroys my livelihood but also the livelihoods of three other families. Our farm is our bread and butter.”
Looking over at his 100 cows sitting in the oppressive heat, he said that if they were not milked soon, they would die.
In Israel on May Day, all governmental offices are closed. The Israeli military evidently was not observing this national holiday when it destroyed the livelihoods of these four families.