AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military demolishes dairy farm

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2 May 2012
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military
demolishes dairy farm

On May Day, 1 May, at 7:45 a.m., the Christian Peacemaker
Team in Hebron received a phone call from Noah al-Rajabi in Bani Naim.  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 at the main road near
the house and saw six military jeeps, three police vehicles, and three
intelligence service vehicles at the site.  Initially, the Israeli authorities prevented CPTers from approaching
the scene. When they asked soldiers why they were demolishing the farm, a
soldier replied, “Because we are the army.”

From the place where they could view the demolition, the
CPTers could see a Caterpillar and a Hyundai bulldozer destroying a farm
building and a caravan (mobile home) in which the family lived. The children of
the family came to the main road and one of the boys told them that he could
take them through the fields to get a closer view of the destruction of his
father’s farm.  By now, the two bulldozers had started to raze a large corrugated iron barn where the
family kept their cows; it destroyed milking machines and other equipment worth
over 8000 USD in the process.  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—it’s not only
destroying my livelihood but also the livelihoods of three other families; our
farm is our bread and butter.” The farmer has two wives and fifteen children to
support and now he is worried how he will manage financially. He was looking at
his one hundred cows, who were sitting in the oppressive heat.  The farmer 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.

Additional photos of the demolition are available here.

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