Resisting house demolitions in Fasayil and Khirbet Humsa
Musa Abu Mohammed’s first experience of his home being demolished was in 1993, the year of the Oslo Accords, when the village of Fasayil was split into two parts: the centre designated as being part of Area B and his area as belonging to Area C. The Israeli army arrived on a particularly cold day in winter with snow on the ground, and demolished most of the houses in the village, including his own and those of his 4 brothers.
Traumatised by this experience, many families left the village, but Musa remained, built a room 25m2 on the land where his house had stood and lived there for the next 20 years with his wife and 6 children. Again, the Israeli soldiers came to destroy his home and again Musa built a one-room home to replace it .
Finally, four years ago Musa, who worked as a shepherd, took the decision to build his family and himself a real home where they did not have to sleep, eat, cook and wash in the one room. The children were older now with two sons in their twenties and the three children were in their teens. Three other families took the same decision and the construction work started.
JVS started working with Musa and the other three families two years ago, not long before 2015 when they all moved into their bright new homes, each with a garden. It was not long before the Israelis attempted to destroy their new lives by issuing demolition orders. This was in March 2016. JVS provided funding to contest the orders in court, as well as a lawyer, Faris Krayin. There was a court hearing where the judge found in favour of the military. The family then took the case to the Supreme Court where the judge found in their favour.
Within weeks, the military issued new demolition orders and JVS are again working with the families to fund the legal proceedings and hiring a lawyer. The new hearing will take place in the next few weeks.
The future is uncertain for Musa Abu Mohammed and the other families, but he is determined to stand his ground in order to keep his home and his village which, he believes, the neighbouring colony of Paza’el is planning to occupy.
There is a similar situation ongoing in Khirbet Humsa, near Tubas, where seven families are fighting to keep their homes and animal enclosures.
Ali Abu Likbash had been living with his family in their property for twenty years before demolition orders were received in 1998. The family contested the order, but seven years later in 2005, the court granted the order to the Israeli military authorities.
The family continued to fight, but again in 2013 the case failed and, unbeaten, the family continued with their battle to keep their home.
During that year JVS started work with Ali and are helping him to prepare for the next hearing in the family’s fight for their home.
At the same time, JVS started working with four other families in the village whose homes were demolished in 2011, but who promptly rebuilt them. Again, they received demolition orders and JVS has been working with them to provide a lawyer and fund their applications to the court to keep their homes.
Two more families in the village are receiving assistance from JVS in their fight against demolition orders.
To exist is to resist!