At noon on Thursday 1st July Israeli Soldiers demolished 13 homes, and dozens of animal shelters in Ras Ar Ahmar, Atuf, claiming that the areas are Closed Military Zones.  They declared a Closed Military Zone and refused to allow Palestinian TV reporters and photographers into the area.

Ali Fayyad, whose home was demolished, said: “The Israeli occupation began to conduct military patrols and bulldozers this morning in the area and demolished the houses inhabited by families and the animal shelters of the sheep herders.” He appealed to the Palestinian Authority, and international institutions to assist those who are stuggling to stay on the land of their ancestors in their efforts to resist Israels attempts to remove them.

Local people believe that this is part of Israel’s plan to completely destroy the community of Ras Ar Ahmar, as part of their ongoing campaign to ethnically cleanse the area of Palestinians to make way for an expansion of Israeli settlements. This is bourn out by the creation of a new settlement outpost in the area last month, which took control of land and water, preventing the residents of Ras Ar Ahmar from accessing water from their well.

President of the village council, Abdullah Bisharat said that this is not the first time that the Israeli forces have demolished the property of citizens in this region. He said that over the last year dozens of homes and animal shelters have been demolished in order to compel Palestinians to leave the land which is owned by them.

He is quoted in the Maan news report of the demolitions as saying: “These lands are registered under the names of the Palestinians and are owned by them. These are agricultural and pastoral lands that are the main livelihood of hundreds of families.”

Following the demolitions the following families have been made homeless: Mohammad and Jamiah Khader Fayyad, Bani Odeh, Mustafa Abdel-Razek Bani Odeh, and Eyad Mustafa Abdel-Razek, Jamal Khader Hamid Bani Odeh, Ezzat Yousef Bani Odeh, Ali Ezzat Yousef Bani Odeh, Ali Fayyad, Bani Odeh, Fayyad Khader Fayyad Bdhi Odeh, Abdullah Hussein Abdullah Bisharat, Salah Abdullah Hussein Bisharat, Ayman Ezzat Bani Odeh, Hassan Abdallah Bani Odeh.