The people of Izbet at-Tabib launch the struggle against the destruction of 21 Palestinian villages!
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The people of Izbet at-Tabib launch the struggle against the destruction of 21 Palestinian villages!

The village council of Izbit at-Tabib, the National Committee to Resist Settlements and the Apartheid Wall, and the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign have called for a day long protest against the home demolitions that threaten the survival of Izbit at-Tabib. Hundreds of villagers and people from the district joined in a powerful demonstration challenging the Israeli Occupation Forces presiding the village.

The Occupation has continuously denied the right of this village to exist, depriving its population of basic services and building permits. The on-going construction of the Apartheid Wall has placed half of the village buildings under demolition orders.

Twenty other villages in the West Bank share the fate of Izbet at-Tabib. The protest in Izbet at-Tabib was only the beginning of a series of demonstrations to collectively resist the expulsion policies of the Zionist occupation. People in the threatened villages have kept steadfast in the face of countless aggressions and discriminatory policies and are determined not to abandon their villages. The number of Palestinian villages destroyed by Apartheid Israel since 1948 shall not increase with the destruction of another 20 villages along the Wall.

The protest in Izbet at-Tabib began with a series of speeches in the center of the village. Occupation forces arrived in jeeps trying to thwart the public meeting. The village youth defended the gathering pelting the jeeps with stones, preventing the military cars from even stopping and chased them out of the village.

After the speeches, the crowd went on to march towards the village entrance and the road block that imprisons the people. The road extends to the main road to Qalqiliya. The road is now to be incorporated into the Israeli-only road network that will carve up the West Bank into Palestinian ghettos. Entry and exit from Izbet at-Tabib was barred by a huge road block with which Occupation forces, once again, aimed to restrict the movement of Palestinians so as not to disturb traffic on the apartheid road. Confrontations erupted until the people made their way to the road block and dismantled the road block that prevent cars, ambulances, and water trucks from reaching the village. For two hours the protestors held strong against the sound bombs, tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition of the Occupation. Even this step towards the most basic freedom of movement had to be defended by the villagers.

Factsheet on Izbet at-Tabib

Sheikh Hamad A. Tabib established Izbit At-Tabib in 1920. He is considered to be the first person to have built a home on this Palestinian land. He bought about 175 dunums of the land known as “Daher Al-Hima” to build a house for his wife. Later, the village was named “Tabib” after him.

Izbit At-Tabib is a small village situated on top of a stunning hill, 7 km east of Qalqiliya City. It is located beside the ancient road between Qalqiliya and Nablus.

Izbit at-Tabib is home to some 300 people who live in about 40 houses. Most of the villagers are farmers or shepherds. The Wall isolates half of their lands, destroying their livelihoods from farming to animal breeding. The people are also barred from finding alternative sources of employment, as the isolation imposed on them by the Occupation prevents them from access to work places on either side of the ‘Green Line’.

Threats and Discrimination Facing Izbit at-Tabib:
• The Occupation administration has never recognized the existence of the village as a residential area. The Occupation has thus refused to allow the villagers access to basic services.
• No structural building plan has ever been established and no building permits have ever been issued by the Occupation.
• Some 20 houses are under demolition order, including a newly built kindergarten and a health clinic.
• 40% of Izbit at-Tabib lands have been confiscated for the construction of the Apartheid Wall. Some 350 olive trees, 150 citrus trees, 50 carob trees and about 200 dunums of land have been isolated behind the Apartheid Wall.
• The Occupation Forces have closed the only entrance to Izbit at-Tabib. The villagers are now imprisoned in their community and ambulances cannot pass to reach patients.
• The entire village population of Izbit at-Tabib are refugees expelled in 1948 from a small village named Tobsor, completely destroyed by Zionist Forces. Since that year, UNRWA has refused to treat the place as a camp or residential area for refugees and withholds the rights and services it is obligated to provide to refugees. Neither basic services, nor education, health care, suitable residence and other fundamental needs are provided.
• Even the Palestinian National Authority has not provided services for the people of Izbit at-Tabib. Since the village is located in Area C – under full administrative control of the Israeli Occupation – the PNA has not shown any willingness to provide the social services required by the village population.