AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military demolishes cistern in Beqa’a Valley

8 May 2012
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military demolishes cistern in Beqa’a Valley

At 8:30 on the morning of 2 May 2012, the team received a call from a friend in the Beqa’a valley to inform the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron the Israeli military was destroying his cousin’s reservoir. Two CPTers went to the valley. Upon arriving, they saw two army vehicles, two intelligence service vehicles, and a power shovel digging up the ground on the hill below the friend’s house and filling dump trucks with this material. The friend told them to follow the truck.

Israeli soldiers in a vehicle tried to stop them but they continued.  Soon they could hear the sound of digging and destruction.  Border police stopped them before they could reach the reservoir.  They asked the CPTers what they were doing there and told them that they could not go any further because the soldiers were working and did not want their work interrupted.  A CPTer replied that they were there to document what the soldiers was doing and the damage they were causing. The border police officer thanked them and told them that if they wanted to take photos they could go onto the roof of the nearest Palestinian home.

On the roof, they had a good view of the devastation.   A jackhammer was laying waste to two of the concrete walls around the reservoir, built to collect rainwater. Trucks were bringing earth from the friend’s house and depositing it near the reservoir, and an earth-mover was pushing it into the water.  Later, over coffee the family reported that the reservoir had been destroyed two years before. Without this water supply the family has no means of irrigating their crops. A journalist informed CPT that a commander of the soldiers had told him that he would be happy when the Beqa’a Valley was a desert.

Wednesday, 2 May was the second day in row in which the team documented the demolition of a cistern by the Israeli military.   Additional photos are available here.