The Reoccupation of Civilian Population: The Case of Artas Village

The Reoccupation of Civilian Population: The Case of Artas Village


The ongoing violations committed by the Israeli Forces in the Palestinian controlled areas have reached a detrimental extent. On Tuesday, the 29th of January 2002, Israeli soldiers backed with tanks and armored vehicles stormed Artas village located southwest Bethlehem. They occupied the area and sealed it off for four hours. This small village lies in Area A under full Palestinian control, and any incursion by the Israeli army is a clear violation of the agreements signed between Israel and the PNA. See map


Nevertheless, Israeli occupation forces invaded the village terrifying the civilians and leaving over six injured. A couple of houses were partially damaged and more than 10 cars were smashed. The Israelis claimed they did this in order to detain wanted Palestinian militants. See Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3 & Photo 4.




Smashed cars in Artas village after the Israeli Invasion

Witnesses said that the Israeli soldiers, backed with a bulldozer, came at around 2:20 a.m. and surrounded Ahmad's house. They handcuffed his two brothers, and forced the whole family including his old mother out of the house to stand in the rain. Ahmad's name was on the Israeli wanted list, but he wasn't at home at that moment. Israeli occupation forces fired some shots randomly at the house and threatened to demolish it if Ahmad didn't come out. Indeed, the bulldozer began working but was not able to bring down the wall. After an hour, they threw a hand grenade inside the house and arrested the two brothers. See Photo 5 & Photo 6  



Moreover, the witnesses said that the Israeli army did not only attack Ahmad's house, but they also went on a rampage in the village. Israeli tanks smashed tens of cars alongside the road as they made their way through the narrow streets of Artas village. They also fired at people inside their homes with their high-caliber machine guns. A pregnant woman was seriously wounded while trying to escape to a safer place inside her home. See Photo 7


It is worth mentioning here that Artas village with a population of 2,684 is bounded by the ongoing-expanded Efrat settlement at its southern vicinity and surrounded by two Israeli army firing-points. See photo 8   





Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Demolition