During the month of February, the Israeli occupation authorities razed the Bedouin community of Humsa in the Northern Jordan Valley to the ground five time. Prior to the February demolition campaign, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished Humsa on November 3, 2020.
In most of the demolition raids to Humsa either in November or February, armed Israeli soldiers were escorted by JCB, Volvo and CAT bulldozers. Below we showcase our mapping of the complicity of these companies in Israeli demolition attacks against Humsa.
- On February 22nd, the Israeli occupation forces raided Humsa. JCB and Volvo bulldozers demolished the residents’ tents which were provided to them by the EU and the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The Israeli army also confiscated some water tanks, the only source of water for them and their livestock. The water tanks were pulled by the bulldozers that escorted the Israeli soldiers.
- On February 16, armed Israeli soldiers and the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) stormed Humsa and confiscated five donor-funded tents during the presence of the EU staff that brought the tents. Over the first weeks of February the community has had 62 structures demolished in three incidents, leaving 60 people, including 35 children were displaced.
On 8 February, according to affected residents from Humsa, JCB bulldozers demolished 22 tents belonging to 9 families from Humsa.
On February 3rd, popular groups tried to rebuild the tents that are the residents’ homes; yet, the Israeli army violently attacked them. JCB bulldozers were used by the army to demolish/confiscate the residents’ tents and the building materials.
- On February 1st, tens of armed Israeli soldiers, officers of the ICA and four JCB bulldozers stormed Humsa and demolished and confiscated 62 structures leaving 60 people sleep between the sky and the ground. During the demolition, the Israeli occupation besieged the community and blocked any entrance to the media and, popular activists and human rights organizations to reach the area. According to the testimonies recorded from the people of Humsa, Israeli soldiers threatened to shoot anyone who tries to resist the destruction/confiscation of their homes. The Israeli soldiers took the confiscated tents to an area called Ein Shebleh, where they plan to transfer the community. Due to the besiege of Humsa there was no media coverage to document the bulldozers complicit in the demolition raid.
- On November 3rd, 2020, the Israeli army, officers of the ICA and about six bulldozers, including CAT and JCB bulldozers raided the community of Humsa and razed the community to the ground. This resulted in leaving about 73 people homeless, including 40 children. The homeless people had to sleep outside in the rainy weather. According to UN OCHA, this was “the largest forced displacement incident recorded in recent years.” Please see images of JCB and cat bulldozers in a report released by Al-Haq here.
It is clear that JCB, CAT and Volvo have played a central role in facilitating the ethnic cleansing and the crime of apartheid committed by the Israeli occupation. The direct involvement of these corporations in the forcible transfer of Palestinians in an occupied territory is in breach of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) guidelines on human rights.
The UN database of companies profiting from the Israeli crimes and occupation against the Palestinian people has named JCB as one of these complicit companies.
Despite calls from Amnesty International and a complaint against JCB by UK charity Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), the UK based corporation continues to profit from its ties with the Israeli company Comasco, which distributes JCB machinery in Israel.
State authorities, in which the aforementioned companies are based, have a duty to protect human rights and ensure that the companies stop any involvement with Israel’s settlement project and grave breaches of international law.