On 9 May, Occupation forces issued 5 demolition orders in the village of al-Khadr, west of Bethlehem. The orders threaten four homes as well as a large water tank that accounts for much of the village supply. If the homes are demolished, a total of 52 people will be affected.
***image2***The people of al-Khadr have been struggling to remain on their land since construction of the Wall began in the area. Home demolitions, especially near to the Wall, are a relatively frequent occurrence. The most recent demolition orders are no exception, where all the threatened homes fall near the Wall. One of the affected building owners Mohammed Suleiman Salah and his ten-person family have already lost their home once to Occupation bulldozers. Since then, Salah rebuilt his home, only to once again face demolition orders.
Of the four homes under threat, three provide the sole source of shelter to their occupants. If they are destroyed, 30 people will be left homeless. The fourth home is owned by Ali Salim Mousa, who also owns another home in the area. His 18-person family is split between these two homes.
The threatened water tank belongs to the municipality and is 125 cubic meters in size. It supplies the âschool areaâ (the name designates a particular area in al-Khadr that is home to a number of schools) as well the old city. 2,500 students, as well as 30 families in the old city, will be affected if the tank is destroyed. This is extremely serious since al-Khadr, due its rural location and elevation, has suffered from water problems. The construction of the tank was a project carried out by the Palestinian Hydrology Group and cost around 70,000 euros. It was only recently completed during last February.
As the people of al-Khadr are facing displacement, the Fayyad government has scheduled meetings for the current Palestine Investment Conference at the village. Al-Khadr, because of the famous Pools of Solomon, is considered a site that could be worked into the current tourism development projects that will put forward at the conference. These projects call for joint work with Occupation ministries and refuse to engage with the political reality in Palestine, wherein the people are losing their lands and livelihoods to same government that is ostensibly supposed to be accepted as joint development partner in the West Bank.