Caves as the last refuge for Palestinians in Masafer Yatta
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Caves as the last refuge for Palestinians in Masafer Yatta

As apartheid Israel pushes its ethnic cleansing project forward, two brothers in Khallet ad-Dabe’ in Masafer Yatta area are determined to remain steadfast. They have faced repeated demolition of their homes with courage and creativity. .

Jaber and Amer Dbabseh, two Palestinian brothers are both born and have resided in Khallet ad-Dabe’ for their entire life. Both of the brothers and their families have endured Israeli military demolishing their homes at least five times. 

The Dbabseh brothers built and rebuilt their homes not only for themselves. Understanding that Israel considers the existence of the school in Khallet ad-Dabe’ an obstacle to its colonial plans, one of the brothers gave up his home to ensure schooling for the children of the village. After the Israeli military demolished the school of Khallet Ad-Dabe’, Amer hosted the school inside his own house, quite sure what would happen:. Israeli apartheid turned the house into rubble once again in an attempt to destroy the children’s dreams of a better future. 

These policies failed miserably in forcing them to leave, but rather increased their determination. Amer and Jaber decided to face the settler colonialism project by resistance and steadfastness on the land. They moved to live in caves with their wives and children. Jaber said “Perhaps it will be safer than the houses that the Israeli occupation attacks”. 

Solidarity tents were set up to defend Khallet ad-Dabe’ residents’ right to exist, however, the Israeli forces demolished and confiscated these tents. Two rooms were emptied to house solidarity activists. Jaber declared: “Apartheid Israel thinks that demolishing and confiscating the solidarity tents will discourage us from protecting our land. We are staying here, herding our sheep and cultivating our land, nothing will uproot us from our land.”