On May Day, a day in Israel in which all government offices are closed, in the village of Khaled al Wardeh outside Hebron, the Israeli military demolished a dairy farm.
Receiving this horrific story via my inbox today threw me. I googled it over and over again and was astounded that this report, from the Christian Peacemakers, was the only documentation of a crime that should shock the conscience of humanity: the demolition of a whole dairy farm, the livelihood of 4 families, who provide sustenance for a much wider population. Look at this farm! Look at it and think of farms in your country. Gone, destroyed, for what? What could possibly justify this act?
The Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron received a phone call from Noah al-Rajabi at 7:45 am in the morning. This is what they reported:
Al-Rajabi reported that the army and bulldozers were demolishing his cousin’s home and threatening to demolish the family’s farm. He urged CPT to come and to call the media and other internationals to bear witness to what was happening. Two CPTers arrived at the main road near the house and saw six military jeeps, three police vehicles, and three intelligence service vehicles at the site. Initially, the Israeli authorities prevented CPTers from approaching the scene. When they asked soldiers why they were demolishing the farm, a soldier replied, “Because we are the army.”
From the place where they could view the demolition, the CPTers could see a Caterpillar and a Hyundai bulldozer destroying a farm building and a caravan (mobile home) in which the family lived. The children of the family came to the main road and one of the boys told them that he could take them through the fields to get a closer view of the destruction of his father’s farm. By now, the two bulldozers had started to raze a large corrugated iron barn where the family kept their cows; it destroyed milking machines and other equipment worth over 8000 USD in the process. The farmer told CPTers, “Destroying my home…I can rebuild and while I am rebuilding I can stay with another family member but destroying my farm—it’s not only destroying my livelihood but also the livelihoods of three other families; our farm is our bread and butter.” The farmer has two wives and fifteen children to support and now he is worried how he will manage financially. He was looking at his one hundred cows, who were sitting in the oppressive heat. The farmer said that if they were not milked soon, they would die.
More photos available at Christian Peacemaker Teams website.
The Israeli military has an odd way of observing May Day, International Worker’s Day, by destroying the livelihoods of four families. Khaled al Wardeh is near the Palestinian town of Beni Na’im, 5 miles east of Hebron.
(Hat tip Esther Riley)