From the Bedouin community of Humsa, representatives of popular committees across the West Bank have sent a call to rights and solidarity groups around the world. They urge more pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop the imminent ethnic cleansing of Humsa.
Yesterday, representatives of the Stop the Wall Campaign and popular committees from across the West Bank met with the people of Humsa. They discussed different ways to support the steadfastness of the people in Humsa amid Israeli brutality against them to coerce them into leaving their land.
They discussed the recent ruling by the Israeli High Court. The Court has once again rubber-stamped Israel’s colonial policies of conquest and ethnic cleansing. It endorsed the military actions and ruled that all but 2 tents, located at the very edge of the community, are to be demolished.
This visit is not the first of its kind. Since the Israeli occupation has started an intensified demolition campaign against Humsa, popular committees and activists have been present there most of the time. This is part of the efforts to support the steadfastness of the community and confront the Israeli brutal raids of demolition.
Israeli forces have reduced their property to rubbles five times in less than a month. Yet, the residents of Humsa are still steadfast and refuse to leave their homes. Although they will not give up on their right to exist in their ancestral land, Humsa residents insist it is urgent for all to work together to mount the necessary pressure on the Israeli regime.
During one of the recent demolition raids on Humsa, an official of the Israeli Civil Administration threatened the residents of Humsa. He said: “It is better for you to leave now as we will continue demolishing your homes until you all leave this area. I also want you to know that Humsa is the start as we will do the same with the other communities in the area.”
A call for solidarity and accountability
In a joint statement by the Stop the Wall, the popular committees and the residents of Humsa, they stated:
We will intensify our popular activities in support of Humsa. We will mount more pressure on Palestinian politicians to put more regional and international pressure on governments around the world to end the ethnic cleansing of Humsa and other targeted communities.
We urge global civil society to put pressure on your governments to stop Israel’s policy of apartheid, annexation and ethnic cleansing. Theircomplicity with Israeli apartheid regime needs to end. Supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel is more urgent than ever in order to save the Palestinian existence in the Jordan Valley and to put an end to Israeli policy of demolition in Area ‘C’.
Humsa has been under a violent and escalated campaign of demolition since the beginning of February. The most recent of which was on February 22nd. This was the fifth demolition raid of the community since the beginning of February. The Volvo and JCB bulldozers which escorted the soldiers demolished more than 30 tents and animal shelters belonging to the residents of Humsa. The Israeli occupation forces also confiscated some movable water tanks, the only source of daily use of water for the residents and their livestock.
All of the confiscated and demolished tents were provided previously to Humsa by the EU and the Palestinian Red Crescent following earlier demolition attacks. Without these tents, tens of Palestinians have no homes to stay in amid the cold winter weather.
EU diplomats have visited Humsa more than once since the start of February to emphasize solidarity with the community. Nevertheless, the Israeli occupation authorities continued relentlessly to bulldoze the community. This makes it an urgency for the EU and non-EU countries alike to take serious measures to hold the Israeli occupation accountable.