Israeli occupation forces demolish the village of Nabi Samuil

Israeli occupation forces demolish the village of Nabi Samuil

Date: Tuesday, 23 Mar 1971
 
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On March 23rd, 1971, at five or six in the morning, army troops arrived with trucks and bulldozers to demolish the village of Nabi Samuil. You have one hour to evacuate, they were told. They took whatever they could which wasn't much, and the army began to demolish their homes with their belongings inside. To the ground.

Hajje Shukriya's black dog refused to come out. They tried to drag him, called him, and he refused and was crushed in the rubble.

Why are you demolishing our home? asked child Kamal, and was beaten in response. Go over to those houses, yelled the soldiers and chased them away to a group of houses further off, at the rim of the village, belonging to people who had fled to Jordan in the war and stood empty. And they went over there.
Issa's mother and her family were given one room. Likewise, Kamal's mother and family. One room next to another. The village was razed to the ground. And the whole area was renamed a 'park'. You may build outhouses of corrugated-iron sheets, they were informed. And they did. And since then, they are not allowed to build anything. Anything that is built is demolished. No permits. Because they are not given permits. People are forced to build without permits because they cannot refrain from building, for this is their land, for they have children. And the children want to sustain their own families, too. For they request building permits and do not receive them, time and time again, systematically. And then the Occupation forces demolish any 'unlawful' construction, 'by law'. Except for the 'Mukhtar' (head of the village). The Mukhtar is a collaborator. The changing colonial authorities appointed one of the inhabitants of the village to be their lackey, and gave him the title 'Mukhtar'. He has special privileges, and in return he serves the regime's purposes against the villagers. Thus, for example, the current Mukhtar and his family are the only people in this village holding a Jerusalem blue ID (resident), unlike the rest of the community that holds a Palestinian ID. Thus they are allowed to enter Israel to work, and are free to come and go as they please. Thus he – the Mukhtar – may build, unlike the other villagers, and his home is not demolished. While the house that had stood at the same spot earlier was demolished by the authorities, 'by law'.

At Nabi Samuil the Mukhtar's main role is to help the authorities take over the land and conduct the silent transfer of its inhabitants. He counterfeits signatures of deceased villagers to appear as though they had sold their land before or after their demise, he finds false-witnesses and arranges 'photocopies' of checks without the person who supposedly holds them, as proof of sale. And because Israel's 'law' enforcement forces are not interested in putting a halt to this deceit, false witnesses are trusted without a shadow of a doubt even when obviously something is wrong and the inhabitants' filed complaints of forgery are torn up and buried, and one plot of land after another is falsely sold to Jews. Of the entire area, perhaps five percent have really and truly been sold, we're told. All the rest is counterfeit. The villagers have written evidence of this outrage. However, despite their attempts to report it to the police, the authorities are not willing – they tell us, painfully – to take up any action when the complaint is against Jews.

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