The Israeli military gave no reason for destroying the three water cisterns and two wells that supplied drinking water to villagers in the arid and hilly Khashem Ad Daraj/Hathaleen region on 14 December. Nor did they notify residents directly that they were coming. They just put the demolition orders under a stone two days earlier.
The sheep and goats – primary sources of food and income for the villagers – were also left with no water supply in an area that receives only 150-250 mm (6-10 inches) of rainfall a year.
The wells were up to 300 meters deep and over 70 years old, pre-dating the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The Israeli military claims that it does not destroy structures created before 1967.