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Hebron family faces threat of displacement by settlers

Nov. 23, 2008 4:52 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 23, 2008 4:52 P.M.)
Hebron - Ma'an - The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee called on the UN and other humanitarian organizations to protect the Palestinian population of the old city of Hebron, currently under Israeli control, on Sunday.

Highlighting the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that civilians under occupation must receive appropriate treatment by their occupiers, the Committee appealed to these organizations to place pressure on Israel to stop human rights violations against civilians.

"Fifty-seven-year-old Khalifa Da'na and his 17 family members are facing the threat of displacement from Jewish settlers in the Givat Harsina settlement, [a settlement] illegally built on Palestinian land," the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee explained. They also pointed out that the family is facing a life threat now that settlers have demolished long portions of the fence surrounding their home.

"Hebron Rehabilitation Committee holds Israeli occupation completely responsible for the lives of the members of the Da'na family and any assaults made against them by settlers," the Committee added.

Da'na used to earn his living from the grapes he planted in the 4 acres of land he inherited from his ancestors. Israeli forces have confiscated two thirds of this area since 24 April 2004. He is now living in a house built on the small remaining portion of his land.

Israeli settlers and soldiers harass him and his family every day in attempts to get him to leave voluntarily. They cut down trees, pelt his home with stones, drop rocks and waste inside the water well used by his family and steal the olives and almonds he harvests. So far, they have filled two out of his family's three wells.

In 2004, the Israeli military issued an order to confiscate 2.5 acres of Da'na's land which is registered as private property in the Hebron district. In June 2005, there was a new military order designating the confiscated land a closed military zone in order to establish a "security area" around the nearby settlement.

Next, there were written directives from the Israeli military commander in Hebron allowing former owners of confiscated lands to tend their land from sunrise to sunset every day except Saturday and Jewish holidays. The Da'na family was excluded from this.

"Then they added an electronic fence splitting my land into two halves. Since then, settlers have been cutting my remaining 50 60-year-old olive trees as well as almond and cherry trees. I have erected a solidarity tent and several activists and humanitarian delegations have visited me," Da'na explained.
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