Nablus- Above the ruins of his demolished house in the village of Faroush, east of the city of Nablus, north West Bank Palestinian citizen Ghassan Abu Jaish sat watching in pain the destruction that befell him at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and their military bulldozers.
The occupation forces turned Ghassan's house into rubble and razed it to the ground under the pretext of “building in violation of” their military procedures and laws, which know no bounds in disrupting the lives of Palestinians and persecuting them to displace them from their land and completely cleanse it.
Despite many demolitions, many buildings and facilities were destroyed in the village of Furush Beit Dajan, near… Nablus city In the north of the West Bank, however, the latest demolition a few days ago was described as the most violent and dangerous, as it targeted homes built before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, which are considered the pegs of the Palestinians that connect them to their land and property, and by demolishing them, Israel moved from Forced displacement The population has reached the stage of complete cleansing of the village located in the central Jordan Valley.
Childhood and adulthood home
The house of Abu Jaish (64 years old) is one of 7 houses demolished by the occupation, in addition to 3 agricultural water ponds, in implementation of an Israeli “stop construction” notice, which the occupation had warned the villagers of last July, and implemented it without allowing the residents to follow their legal procedures to prevent the demolition. Taking advantage of the state of war in Gaza and the emergency law that it has adopted to implement its aggressive policies.
For Abu Jaish, the house is not just walls. He was born and raised there with his brothers and sisters and their children, and they spent their childhood and the good and bad days of their lives. “Then the occupation demolished all of that in the blink of an eye, without justification,” and Abu Jaish says: “This is a great injustice,” while feeling the stones of the house. He derives patience and relief from the horror of the scene.
In the same context, Abu Jaish adds: His house was built in 1958 during Jordanian rule of the West Bank, and he and his family paid “roofing” taxes to the Jordanian government, and they had proof of ownership (tabu) in it from the time of Jordan. They again added a small brick building at the entrance to the house, and immediately the occupation notified them of stopping construction.
What is worse is that the occupation – according to Abu Jaish – did not stop the modern construction, but rather demolished it and demolished the old house with it, and claimed that the construction was in violation and located on land classified as a “state treasury” and within Area C under Israeli military control in accordance with the Oslo Accords, and did not give them time to follow up on their procedures. Legal requirements to prove their ownership of the house.
Abu Jaish wonders with concern about the secret behind the escalating pace of demolition in his village, which is now inhabited by about a thousand people, out of more than 6 thousand citizens who lived in Al-Farush in 1966. During the years 2022 and 2023 alone, the occupation launched 5 demolition operations, affecting 18 homes and dwellings and many agricultural facilities.
In the opinion of the young man, Adly Abu Jaish, this demolition is not considered merely an occupation measure, but rather “the uprooting and cleansing of the area of its residents.” He considers that any concrete construction makes the citizens more secure in their land. Otherwise, he would have contented himself with demolishing the new, superfluous building and not demolishing it along with the old, “but he used that as a pretext.” “By letting people add to the building and demolishing everything.”
At a time when the occupation does not allow the addition of new buildings or the development of old ones, it also prevents the placement of caravans (mobile homes) and confiscates them, and it has done so, and the most of what it allows is clay construction that is roofed with tin (zinc) in order to facilitate its demolition.
The village now contains about 35 houses, 7 of which were recently demolished, in addition to old mud houses that were destroyed by natural factors, and the occupation does not allow them to be rebuilt. It deprives the residents of their village’s water, dries up the springs, steals groundwater, and puts its hand on the land. The agricultural areas allocated for grazing decreased, and livestock wealth declined by more than 80%, according to residents.
Of the approximately 14 thousand dunams (one dunam = one thousand square meters) of village land, the occupation prevents residents from reaching 11 thousand, and classifies them under the names of “military and shooting areas,” “state treasury,” and “closed natural reserves.”
Uprooting the population
Azem Al-Haj Muhammad, head of the Farush Beit Dajan Village Council, says that the village is closed to Palestinians only, while the settlers who establish their settlements, “Makhora” and “Al-Hamra,” in addition to the army camp on village lands, enter it and everything is permitted to them.
After its occupation, Israel dug 3 deep artesian wells in the land of the village, which pump with a huge production capacity per well, amounting to about 800 cups per hour, while 5 artesian wells owned by the village before 1967 together produce 250 cups per hour. As for electricity, the residents take it from the village school. The only Israeli licensed building.
According to Hajj Muhammad, everything the occupation is doing in Al-Faroush is “a policy consistent with Israel’s projects of displacement, uprooting the population, and implementing the Alon Plan in preparation for the final annexation phase.”
The plan of “Yigal Alon”, the former Israeli Minister of Agriculture, approved since the 1960s, is based on isolating the entire Palestinian Jordan Valley (the Jordan Valley constitutes a third of the area of the West Bank, estimated at 5,800 square kilometers), which now includes 88% of it through dozens of settlements and army camps.
Data from the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) indicate that the occupation, as a result of the aggression of its army and settlers, displaced 28 Palestinian Bedouin communities, including more than 2,300 citizens, and demolished about 950 homes and commercial and agricultural facilities in 2023.
Village official Hajj Muhammad commented that the occupation is targeting his village, Al-Faroush, because of its strategic geographical location and economic characteristics, as it connects the north of the West Bank to its south, is about 10 kilometers away from the Jordan River, and is located within the Nablus mountain range.
Its soil is also very fertile, as the village sits on the largest water reservoir in the eastern basin of Palestine, which is the second largest groundwater basin in the West Bank.
Residents of Furush Beit Dajan agree that the process of complete Judaization and annexation of the village has become “a matter of time,” due to the acceleration of the settlement process through the surrounding settlements (Makhura and Hamra) and the “Kuki” (shepherd settler) project, which began less than 3 years ago and has so far confiscated twice the area. The village, from it and from the surrounding areas.
Walid Assaf, former Minister of the Wall and Settlement Authority, says that Israel has postponed the process of massive displacement of Palestinians and is carrying out internal forced displacement, by evacuating citizens from areas behind the wall and the Jordan Valley (they constitute 40% of the area of the West Bank).
But all of this did not stop citizen Ghassan Abu Jaish and the villagers from trying to rebuild their homes several times, as they say, “We will not leave a land that we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers.”