During last February, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished Humsa, a Bedouin community in Northern Jordan Valley, five times as part of the Israeli attempts to ethnically cleanse the community. Now they try to force people to leave by cutting off water supply.
The cruel policies to expel the people from their lands are implemented under the pretext that the community is located in a “closed military area”, which the Israeli army defined long after the community had been established there.
After the fifth destruction, and to avoid further demolitions and raids, the residents of Humsa had to move 600 meters away from area the Israeli occupation authorities classify as a ‘Firing Zone.’
nevertheless, the Israeli occupation does not allow the residents of Humsa to rebuild their homes. Nor does the Israeli occupation allow the residents easy access to water.
The Israeli occupation denies the Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley access to piped water, refusing to connect them to the water grid mekorot has built for the illegal settlements. The communities there, including Humsa, depend on water brought to them in big water tanks. The water, which the residents buy from Areas ‘A’ and ‘B’, is usually transported in their tractors as the Israeli occupation prohibits Palestinians there to pave their roads.
Since the beginning of March, the Israeli occupation has decided to restrict the access to water for the residents either by confiscating their water tanks or tractors transporting the water.
According to Abu Anas, a resident of Humsa,
“Since more than a month, the Israeli occupation has been suffocating us by preventing us to access tanked water. We only manage to get a few tanks that hardly suffice the needs of my family and livelihood. Every night, Israeli military jeeps surround the community to ensure we don’t get tanks of water secretly during the night.
Every day, they also raid the community in search for water tanks and the tractors transporting them.
A few days ago, we built some tents. The following day, Monday, April, 5th, Israeli soldiers stormed the community and took pictures of the newly built tents.
I do not know how we are going to survive the holy month of Ramadan, which starts in less than a week from now, without enough water. The temperature is getting very high in Humsa these days. This is going to add insult to injury during Ramadan while we are fasting.
On the one hand, the Israeli occupation confiscated the solar panels we used to depend on for power. After a long day of fasting, we will not be able to have cooled water, if there would be really some!
On the other, the tents that were provided to us as a humanitarian aid are small and, unlike the residential tents we used to have, they do not cool the place or protect us from the hot weather.”
Denying the residents of Humsa access to the core of life, to water is a coercive measure to ethnically cleanse them from their lands after the repetitive demolition of their property failed to do so. Water has been weaponized by the Israeli occupation authorities through water apartheid practices since decades to expel Palestinians and take over their lands.