WEST BANK: Bedouins "Worse off than Gazans"
The road to al-Hadidiya village in the northeastern West Bank district of Tubas is dotted with boulders etched with a warning in Hebrew, Arabic and English: 'Danger - Open Fire Area'.
The boulders arrived about six months ago, and are positioned at the entrance to Palestinian villages, indicating that chunks of the Jordan Valley have become a closed military zone claimed by the Israeli army. They signal a further squeeze on the Bedouin communities here.
Shepherd Abdul Rahim Bsharat, 59, and his family have lived and farmed in al-Hadidiya since the 1960s. At that time, he said, there were 400-500 families there. Now, there are 17, who stay on despite having no access to water or electricity. Every building in the village has an Israeli demolition order on it.
On 21 June, the Israeli military gave Bsharat notice that his house and animal shelters could be destroyed at any time. When Bsharat’s house was previously demolished in 2002, his water tank was confiscated too. 'If they destroy my property again, I’ll come back and rebuild it again. This is my land,' he told IRIN. IRIN News (28 July 2010)