Endless Confiscation and Displacement in Qattana
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Endless Confiscation and Displacement in Qattana

***image1***Six houses are currently threatened with demolition and almost 50 people are facing displacement in Qattana, North West Jerusalem. The six houses are located to the south of the village. The owners of the houses all acquired proper building licenses from the Occupation administration in 1978. In 1982, the Occupation forces undertook a land survey in the area, and declared that of this particular area of Qattana was an ‘Israeli area’. Occupation forces then gave demolition orders for the houses, and ever since the case has been in the Occupation courts. 6000 dunums of Qattana’s lands are confiscated in what is considered ‘no man’s land”.

In 2000, The Ein Sumara road between Qattana and Abu Ghosh was destroyed. The road had been in existance since the British mandate in Palestine, and water and electricity lines and trees all along the road were destroyed as well. The village council reconstructed the road, but the Occupation forces came back and destroyed it once more in 2002, and the six houses in question were isolated as a result, with no road linking them to the village.

The houses belong to six brothers from the village, Abed, Youssef, Jamal, Moussa, Mohammad, and Ja’far Al Faqih. They live in them with their families. Since the road was destroyed, the six families have had no access to water and telephone services. The only source of water is through a small pipe from the village, but it is only a temporary measure.

Each day children and workers in these six families are forced to walk long distances through the mountains to reach schools or their workplaces. Mohammad, the father of ten children and the family’s main supporter has cancer; and he cannot walk the mountains to reach the hospital when he needs to, not to mention anywhere else.

Now with the Apartheid Wall being built in Qattana, the families situation is much worse situation. Family members report that Occupation forces told them the Wall will pass a mere 1.5 metres from the six houses. During the construction of the Wall it is likely that all the trees around the houses will be uprooted. In addition, the boulders the Occupation bulldozers are moving for the construction of the wall, routinely roll down the mountain and damage the houses.

However, this is not all, in villages where the Wall was completed; the Occupation forces confiscate a hundred meter ‘buffer zone’ on both sides of the wall, for ‘security’. With these houses already threatened with demolition, and being only a few meters from the Wall the people are afraid it will not be long before the Occupation forces decide to destroy them.

Overall, the Wall will confiscate 900 dunums of the village’s lands, 300 dunums for its path with an additional 600 dunums to be isolated behind it.