Israeli forces demolish homes in West Bank Bedouin community
Israeli forces demolished homes and infrastructure in a Bedouin community in the occupied West Bank early on Tuesday, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported.
The incident comes as residents of another West Bank village were targeted by a “price tag” attack by Israeli settlers overnight.
According to B’Tselem, staff of the Civil Administration - the military body that oversees Israel's occupation of the West Bank - went to the Bedouin village of al-Muntar at around 7.30am, escorted by military jeeps, a truck and a crane.
Israeli forces demolished six homes in the village, which had housed 26 people, including 14 children, the organisation said in a statement, in addition to a sheep enclosure and a water tank.
Located southeast of the Palestinian town of al-Eizariya, Al-Muntar is one of several Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem district of the occupied West Bank that have been regularly targeted by Israeli authorities with demolitions.
Israel has long sought to annex the area - known as E1 - in an effort to connect nearby settlement blocs and secure control of the Greater Jerusalem area.
While details of the plan have yet to be revealed, the situation has sparked fears that Palestinians living in Area C, the two-thirds of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, may be even more vulnerable to forcible expulsion.
Both settlements and annexation are illegal under international law.
Meanwhile, Palestinian media reported that Israelis from the settlement of Havat Gilad set two vehicles on fire overnight in the village of Faraata in the West Bank district of Qalqilya.
Abdel Muneim Shanaa, the head of the village council, told Palestinian news agency Wafa that residents woke up to find the two cars ablaze.
The vehicles - one of them a taxi - belonged to the same family. Ma’an news agency reported that the Nawfal family had only just purchased one of the cars in the past week on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The settlers also reportedly sprayed anti-Palestinian graffiti in the area, reading: “The Land of Israel for the people of Israel."
Vandalism by Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities are known as "price tag" attacks, and are used to intimidate residents and assert Jewish supremacy in territories Israel has militarily occupied since 1967.