SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli military arrests two young women after demolishing houses and mosque in Um Fagarah village.

CPTnet
30 November 2011
SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli military arrests two young women after demolishing houses and mosque in Um Fagarah village.

On 24 November 2011, at 9:00 am, the Israeli army, with more than five Israeli army jeeps and two bulldozers, drove into the small village of Um Fagarah and demolished two houses and the village mosque.  During the demolition, they arrested a twenty-one-year-old woman and a seventeen-year-old woman.  They left one hour later.

One of the demolished homes belonged to a widow and her family; the other housed an extended family of twenty.  The soldiers did not have demolition orders or give any explanation for the demolitions, but called the village women 'whores' and entered at a time of day when most of the men were away at work.

The second family's 21-year-old daughter confronted the Israeli soldiers when they marched into their home and began throwing the bedding outside.  When she asked what they were doing, one soldier said, “Get out of my sight.”  The daughter refused; in response, the soldier threatened, “If you don't move, we will do even more,” and sprayed her in the face with tear gas.  The other soldiers began kicking her as she fell to the ground.  Her mother and her neighbours then tried to pull her out of the way, but another soldier pushed the girl's mother away and the older woman fell, breaking her leg.  

The seventeen-year-old tried to bring water to her cousin to soothe her eyes inflamed by the tear gas.  The soldiers arrested them both, and as of 27 November, they are imprisoned in Jerusalem.

The villagers began reconstruction of the mosque the next Saturday, the first day of the Islamic New Year.  People from the surrounding villages came to support the action, including two people from the International Solidarity Movement and members of CPT.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel has demolished over 170 homes in 2011, displacing roughly 880 people.