Monday, Aug. 31
Latest News
  1. Turkish court arrests British journalists on terror charges
  2. Locals: Boko Haram kills nearly 80 in NE Nigeria villages
  3. Austria smuggler crackdown as Europe divided over migrant crisis
  4. 'Largest ever' Med gas field found off Egypt
  5. Egypt muezzin suspended over 'Facebook prayer call'
  6. 3 Canadians, Pakistani, Nigerian among dead in Saudi fire
  7. 'A Sinner in Mecca' documents gay Muslim pilgrimage
  8. A year on, Yazidis so close yet so far from Iraq hub
  9. Delayed Egypt elections to start on October 17
  10. Blast at Syria's Palmyra prompts fears for famed temple
  11. 11 dead, dozens hurt in fire at Saudi oil giant housing complex
  12. Red Crescent: 7 bodies wash up on Libya beach
  13. Egypt elections to start on October 17
  14. Kuwaiti MP: Iran is 'true enemy' of Gulf Arabs
  15. Iran bars Barenboim, thwarting Tehran concert plan
  16. Qatar exports plunge over 40 pct in year
  17. Beheaded Syriac bishop beatified a century after death
  18. Hungary police make new arrest over Austrian migrant tragedy
  19. Berlin, Paris, London seek urgent EU meeting on migrant crisis
  20. French PM: Migrants fleeing war, persecution must be let in

UK charity Oxfam concerned over apparent attack

Oct. 29, 2009 2:39 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2009 11:06 A.M.)
Hebron – Ma'an – The British humanitarian aid group Oxfam International is investigating reports that Israeli forces in Hebron may have intentionally destroyed an EU-funded water reservoir built by the charity.

"We understand that beneficiaries have been attacked, as well as the water system, and that networks were destroyed," Oxfam spokesman Michael Bailey told Ma'an on Thursday. "We are very concerned for the farmers, who have lost every important source of income."

Bailey added that the organization was "following these reports closely," but could not immediately confirm that Israel's army had destroyed the EU-funded infrastructure.

But locals told Ma'an earlier on Thursday that ten Palestinians, including a 70-year-old woman, seven women and two journalists, were attacked by Israeli forces south of Hebron during the course of the demolition.

Reports from the Israeli settler news agency Arutz Sheva quoted a right-wing activist bragging that the infrastructure, which he said was built by Oxfam and funded by the EU, was ripped apart due to its proximity to a Hebron settlement.

"Among the structures destroyed were several built with money from the European Union-funded organization Oxfam," said the report, which quoted the settler activist saying local Palestinians, who "had been given money by Oxfam to improve the water supply in their village," had built on land "owned" by the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba.

The incident apparently began when Israeli soldiers and armored vehicles demolished a water reservoir belonging to Al-Baqa'a resident Mohammad Mustafa Jaber. His family said a bulldozer also destroyed irrigation networks used for crops.

In an attempt to stop the demolition, the family notified the press and tried to block the demolition crew as it approached, according to residents. Soldiers responded by beating the family members and two journalists who responded to the scene, they said.

An eyewitness said soldiers kicked and hit the residents and journalists with army rifle butts and batons.

The two injured journalists, identified by medics as Abed Al-Hafith Al-Hashlamun with the European Press Agency (EPA) and Najeh Al-Hashlamun of "ABA," were reportedly injured as they attempted to document the demolition and subsequent attacks.

Seven of the injured residents were identified as:

Mari Jaber

Najah Jaber

Kawkab Jaber

Rudeina Jaber

Najah Fadel Jaber

Ibtesam Rashed Jaber

Izdehar Falah Jaber

Amenah Jaber, 70

Approached by Ma'an, an Israeli spokesperson confirmed that an "illegal water foundation" was demolished, but refused further comment. A spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration had no immediate comment.

On Saturday, the Palestinian center for land research issued a statement condemning the actions, explaining that the Israeli bulldozers had destroyed ten dumums of land and destroyed water infrastructure that was used to irrigate another 17 dunums of agricultural land planted with vegetables.

The organization interviewed one of the land's residents, Rudeina Jaber, who said a female soldier hit her with a baton and rifle butts.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015