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Women's Voices: Fatmeh H. - Property destruction

Name: Fatmeh H.
Age: 30
Location: Kafr ad Dik, West Bank
Nature of incident: Destruction of water well and shed
Date of incident: 10 October 2011

On 10 October 2011, Israeli soldiers demolish an agricultural building and water well near the village of Kafr ad Dik, in the occupied West Bank.

Thirty-year-old Fatmeh lives in the West Bank village of Kafr ad Dik, close to the Israeli settlement of Ali Zahav. “On 10 October 2010, at around 11:00 am, Israeli soldiers came to the agricultural shed that belongs to us and placed a stop-building notice on it,” recalls Fatmeh. “A shepherd who happened to be there at the time saw the soldiers and phoned my husband and told him about the notice. The shed is about 6x10 meters and is made out of bricks and has a tin roof. We use it to store olives during the olive harvest. We also use it when we go out for picnics during spring. We take our food with us and have barbeques and enjoy nature. We also own a water well next to the shed. The well was built nearly 10 years ago and we use it to collect rain water to irrigate the trees,” says Fatmeh.

Exactly one year later, on 10 October 2011, the soldiers returned. “At around 10:30am, five army jeeps and two bulldozers arrived at the scene and began to demolish the shed and the well,” recalls Fatmeh.“My husband saw them from the roof of our house which overlooks the land. My husband rushed to the place to try to stop them but the soldiers did not allow him to get near. Soldiers then detained my husband and four other young men from the village for about one-and-a-half hours until the demolition was over and then they released them.”
“On 19 January 2012, we received a tent from a human rights organisation called Act Aid which my husband put up near the demolished shed but the soldiers confiscated it the following day. They left us a notice saying they took the tent away.”
“I feel sad and defeated,” says Fatmeh. “We depend on our land for income and without the well and the shed we cannot take care of the land. My younger son who is eight cried when he found out that the shed was demolished. I don’t think he knows exactly what happened but he could feel the stress and the tension at home. It could be that he will miss the picnics we used to have.”

keyword: Property Destruction