Sat 23 Sep 2023 3:34 pm - Jerusalem Time
"Duma" is a village that faces threat of forced displacement
The village of Duma, located in the far southeast of Nablus Governorate, is going through a saga of survival and steadfastness in the face of the Israeli occupation and its settlers, amid its policy of demolishing homes and facilities, in addition to its control over its lands extending to the Palestinian Jordan Valley and stealing them for the benefit of expanding and establishing more settlements, outposts, and military bases.
From time to time, the occupation targets this village in its continuous operations to monitor and track the movements of citizens and their agricultural and urban activities. It recently distributed fifty notices of demolition and to return the lands to what they were after the trouble and hardship of their owners, who are making every effort and spending their money to reclaim and rebuild them.
This is not the first time that citizens have received notifications of demolition and stopping construction, as the total number of previous warnings reached more than (150) notifications, according to what the head of the village council, Suleiman Dawabsha, said.
Dawabsha added, while speaking to Al-Quds.com: “The demolition operations also affected a mosque in the Arab Shaqara community, which is inhabited by 80 Bedouins and those interested in raising livestock, in addition to agricultural rooms that constitute a source of livelihood for many farmers, in addition to the destruction of the structures.” Infrastructure, including water and electricity networks, as well as the dredging of agricultural roads.”
Displacement lurks among the population.
The Bedouin communities in the village are exposed to the risk of displacement and forced deportation, and their residents live in states of panic and constant anticipation, fearing that the occupation will demolish their homes and expel them from them at any moment. Four communities have been inhabited for decades, and all of them have access to all basic services, including education, health, electricity, water, and roads. Which the village council provides them with, as do the rest of the villagers.
When talking about Duma, the Palestinians remember the scenes of the horrific Holocaust committed by extremist settlers against the Dawabsha family eight years ago, when they attacked the house of citizen Saad Dawabsha and set it on fire while he and his family were inside, martyring his wife, Reham, and their infant, Ali, while their son, Ahmed, was seriously burned.
Efforts to swallow up land,
The occupation seeks to swallow up Palestinian lands in Duma and its neighboring villages, and confiscate them under the pretext that they are “state property,” “natural reserves,” and “military areas,” which makes it easier for settlers to seize them and build many settlement outposts in their vicinity after they become abandoned and unused. .
Dawabsha continued: “The occupation has always taken racist methods against us, stealing most of our lands, which have a total area of 18 thousand dunums, and annexing them for the benefit of the settlements adjacent to the village, while preventing people and farmers from accessing their lands that fall under classification (C), which hinders them from carrying out their usual activities in the village.” Cultivating the land, cultivating it, and grazing livestock as well.”
Strategic location ,,
The village enjoys a distinctive strategic location, which makes it heavy prey for settlers to plunder its resources, because its eastern slopes overlook the Fasayil Reserve, where the fresh water springs that used to feed the village with drinking water, and its location is east of the so-called “Alon” settlement street, which extends from the north of the West Bank to... Its south has increased its importance to the occupation, which seeks to annex it and displace its population.
It is always located in the middle of a group of settlement blocs. It is besieged from the western side by the “Shilo” settlement, which is an extension of the “Ahia” settlement, and the “Alon” settlement street from the northwestern side, while on its lands from the south is the “Gebeit” camp and the “Hanan” settler, who seizes it. On five thousand dunams of its land, and on the eastern side are the settlements of “Fasayel” and “Maale Ephraim.”
Building threatened with demolition.
The people have no choice but to expand their urban and agricultural activity in their lands classified as (C), even though construction there is threatened with demolition under the pretext of not having a permit. Dawabsha explained: “We took it upon ourselves to expand work and construction within these areas, as a result of the narrow area of the remaining lands within the master plan.” For the village, which amounts to only nine hundred and forty dunums,” adding that this area no longer meets the needs of the population for basic services, natural resources, and residential buildings in light of the natural increase (they number 3,500 people).
Although these components are the simplest that can be provided to support the survival of citizens and their connection to their lands, the occupation’s policy of restricting them and confining them within this limited space forced many residents to leave the village or move to the vertical construction style, according to Dawabsha.
A call to attention,
The head of the village council calls on all governmental and competent authorities to direct their attention to this peaceful village and to make every effort to serve it as much as possible and alleviate the suffering of its residents who face the threat of forced displacement alone, stressing the necessity of providing all the basic components the village needs, especially water, and contributing to Supporting their steadfastness and survival in their lands to confront this settlement incursion.
The village is now suffering from a shortage of water supplies needed for many of the people’s agricultural and pastoral activities - according to Dawabsha - and this is in addition to being the basis of life for the citizens, as water always arrives from neighboring villages in small quantities, because it represents the last community that receives water from the “Rojib” well. Shared with thirteen village communities in southeastern Nablus.
The occupation is also trying to remove all meanings of clinging to the Fasayil Reserve, the Duma Spring, and Ain al-Rashash, around which a Bedouin community is centered and is also threatened with displacement, even though these springs constitute one of the most important main sources of water in the village, while the occupation seizes their water and prevents residents from accessing it.
Difficulty of transportation,
Dawabsha says: “One of the problems of living in our besieged local community is the difficulty of transportation and the movement of citizens between the village and its surroundings, which hinders the village council from communicating with neighboring areas, as well as carrying out its work in providing the necessary services to the people as well.”
Lack of health services,
He added: "We have a shortage of health services and the absence of nearby relief centers that respond to the residents' calls in urgent cases, especially since the village clinic only works one day every week, and the distance of Douma from the city center delays the arrival of ambulance or civil defense crews in emergency or medical cases." The fires broke out amid the obstacles placed by the occupation on the roads in southern Nablus.
The Council President also hopes to arrange a convenient and safe process for collecting waste from the village’s lanes and streets, in order to dispose of it in healthy ways that limit its accumulation and protect it from environmental pollution, as there is no special mechanism for transporting the village’s waste, while it is collected by an agricultural tractor and then disposed of in a nearby landfill. He is also threatened with removal by the occupation.