Women's Voices: Samaher B.- Home demolition
Name: Samaher B.
Age: 35 Location: Mak-hul, West Bank Date of incident: 23 September 2013 Nature of incident: Property destruction
On 23 September 2013, Israeli forces entered a small Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley and destroyed a number of homes.
Thirty-five year old Samaher lives with her husband and children in a small community in the Jordan Valley. The family lives in tents and raises sheep and cattle for a living. Three Israeli settlements have been constructed close to the land farmed by Samaher’s community, including Beqa’ot and Nahal Hemdat.
“On 23 September 2013, at about 3:00 a.m., one of my husband’s friends called and told us that he saw Israeli forces heading towards Mak-hul,” recalls Samaher. “We did not think that they were coming for us. A short time later about 20 to 30 military vehicles and two bulldozers entered Mak-hul and started to demolish our neighbors’ tents. Then the military approached our land and my legs became weak from fear. My children started to cry and were very scared. I moved them some distance from our tent so that they would not get hurt.”
“My brother-in-law tried to talk with the Israelis in order to stop them from demolishing our tents. The soldiers then started to push my brother-in-law away in a provocative manner. My brother-in-law responded by throwing stones at them and he was beaten up. My husband took his brother away and they kept their distance until the military had demolished our tents. I watched what was going on from a distance. I was in tears and felt helpless, there was nothing that I could do.”
“The military brought with them a few workers to pull out the furniture before they started to knock down the tents. The workers only managed to pull a few things out and placed them next to the tent. However, the items that were pulled out were damaged when the bulldozer dumped the remains of the tent on them. Meanwhile, the military set up a check point at the entrance to the village so that the press and supporters could not approach and see what was happening. After the tents were demolished, we lost five sheep which died as a result of heat exposure. This in turn affected our income.”
“My children are now traumatized; they scream at night and wet their bed, especially my daughter Shyma. Every time we try to rebuild the tents, the military comes back and knocks them down. We do not know how long this will continue, but we will stand up for our rights, our source of income and our homes.”