On the morning of 27 October 2014, the Israeli military came
with bulldozers to the Palestinian village of Um Al-Kheir and demolished six
houses and a traditional bread oven (tabun). The demolitions left thirty-one people homeless, including
twelve children. According to the
villagers, the tabun had no demolition order, but the settlers from nearby
Karmel settlement were trying to sue the community over its use, saying that
the smoke from the fire that baked the bread generated health problems for the
During the demolition, Israeli police took two Israeli peace
activists to the Kiryat Arba police station and arrested an international
volunteer. They released him later
that night on the condition that he could not be in the West Bank for a period
of two weeks.
Um Al-Kheir is a small Palestinian village in the South
Hebron Hills, whose inhabitants are Bedouin refugees from Tel Arad in Negev,
inside the internationally recognized boundaries of Israel. The residents bought the land for the
village in the 1950s. In the
1980s, settlers established Karmel right next to the village and continue to
confiscate land from Palestinians for its expansion. The Israeli occupation authorities deny access to even the
most basic infrastructure for the residents of Um Al-Kheir, who may not connect
to running water or electricity, and must rely on solar panels and generators.
A video about the demolition is available here.