Israeli forces carried out a demolition campaign across West Bank on Thursday, destroying a mosque and several other buildings in the village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills, as well as several Bedouin homes in the town of Beit Hanina, near Ramallah. Soldiers also arrested two girls and demolished a cave dwelling with a woman still inside it, breaking her leg.
Two Palestinians were also arrested in Jerusalem during dawn raids on Friday—Haytham Shukri Taha from Beit Hanina and 46-year-old Bassem Idris from Silwan. Both were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and Idris’ cell phone was confiscated. Taha was interrogated at the al-Moskobiyya Police Compound in Jerusalem. Neither have been charged.
On Thursday, east Hebron Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements coordinator Ratib al-Jabour told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that an “enormous” Israeli force raided Khirbet al-Maqfareh, near Susya in the South Hebron Hills, and demolished a 50-square-foot mosque and two houses inhabited by 24 people. According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), no demolition order was ever presented.
The owner of first house, Maher al-Tahaan, said the majority of its 10 inhabitants were orphaned babies, while the second building, owned by Mahmoud Hussein al-Tahaan, housed 14 people, four of them with special needs.
Also in Susya, Palestinian eyewitness Sulaiman Salem al-Adreh from Yatta said that Israeli forces arrested two teenage girls: Amal Jamal Mussa al-Burqandi Hamamdeh, 17, and Sawsan Mahmoud Hussein al-Tahaan, 19.
When Israeli forces demolished a cave dwelling in Susya, a stone fell on 45-year-old old Halima Shahadeh Hamamdeh’s leg and broke it. She was taken to a nearby hospital.
The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) reported that Israeli troops also tore down a barn containing a hutch of rabbits, injuring and killing many of the animals. The property owners were not allowed in to remove them before the demolition.
Also in Susya, a house and cattle barn belonging to Mohammed Musa Mughneym were demolished, and the Susya school was also raided. According to local sources, Israeli soldiers attacked and severely beat the school principal, Mohammed Jaber Musa al-Nuwaja’a, then threatened him that they would be coming back to the school to demolish it.
Demolition notices were given to families from Khirbet al-Derat, east of Yatta, and at least four men were summoned for interviews with Israeli intelligence.
On Thursday in the Jerusalem-area town of Beit Hanina al-Tahta, Israeli bulldozers accompanied by heavily armed troops demolished several Bedouin homes, leaving about 30 Palestinians homeless. The demolition was caught on video by photojournalist Fadi Arouri :
Israeli officers said the homes were built without proper permits. According to Peace Now, 94% of Palestinian permit applications for buildings in Area C are rejected.