For the Sake of Karmeil Colonists, Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Shelters of Arab Al Hathalin

For the Sake of Karmeil Colonists, Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Shelters of Arab Al Hathalin


Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished on Wednesday October 29th, 2008 shelters used by Arab Al Hathaleen in the area of Umm Al Khair located east of the town of Yatta in Hebron Governorate.  


Affected members of Umm Al Khair informed the Land Research Center’s field researcher the following: We were taken by surprise on the morning of that day when we saw Israeli bulldozers accompanied by Israeli soldiers and foreign workers invading the community. The soldiers told us that they have an order to demolish our homes because they were built in an area where construction is prohibited. All roads leading to the community were blocked by Israel patrols stationed at the roads in an effort to prevent any press or TV people to come in to document the demolitions. The foreign workers accompanying the soldiers removed part of our belongings before bulldozers leveled our shelters. We can’t even call them houses as they were much more simplistic than that. We were not allowed to come close to our shelters until the demolition was finished. Some of our belongings remained under the ruins while the part that was removed before the demolition got ruined due to the hard rain that came down that day.   


Photo 1: Mr. Mohammad Khalil Al Hathalin walking over the ruins of
his destroyed “home” in Umm Al Khair.



Arab Al Hathalin live in the eastern side of the town of Yatta at the outskirts of the Negev Desert. They are all refugees after they were kicked out of their original dwellings near the city of Arad. They bought the land in the said location from its Yatta owners in the aftermath of the 1948 Nakba. Some of the Arab erected tents while other built homes in the location. The colony of Karmaeil was later established on part of their lands in 1981.



Photo 2: Arab Al Hathaleen and the close proximity of the colony of Karameil.



The Colony of Karmaeil Expands while Palestinian Shelters Get Destroyed:

 The colony of Karmaeil was established on 40 dunums of Arab Al Hathalin lands in 1981. A major expansion of the colony took place two years ago also on the expenses of Al Hathalin lands. Colonist harassment is a major issue facing Al Hathalin as colonists would usually chase the Palestinian shepherds while tending for their flocks on what remains of their lands. The colonists would also throw stones at Al Hathalin who live right behind the fence of the colony. Other forms of harassment include shouting racist slurs, burning the wood collected for heating and cooking, stealing sheep, etc. The list is just too long.


Photo 3: The houses of the colony of Karmaeil built upon Arab Al Hathalin lands.


Photo 4: The destroyed shelters of Arab Al Hathalin while in the back
appears the new neighborhood in the colony of Karmaeil.



The Demands of the Affected Hathalin:

Arab Al Hathalin summarized their demands in few words: ' Save us. Help us. Protect us from the fierce attacks by the colonists and the occupation soldiers. Provide us with the shelter. We are at the beginning of the winter season. The tents will not be an adequate protection against the cold weather our region is known for. '


Photo 5 & Photo 6: Al Hathalin children… what is left of their childhood after the occupation destroyed their shelter?


49 Palestinians, Mostly Children, Left Homeless:  

Currently 49 Palestinians are living shelter-less after Israeli occupation forces destroyed their residence places without mercy. Arab Al Hathalin expressed that the goal behind the destruction of their shelters is to force them to leave their lands in order to use it for further expansion of the colony of Karmaeil


The following table lists the names of Al Hathalin whose shelters were destroyed on the said day by Israeli occupation forces:

Name of Owner

Area (in m2)

No. of Family Members

Type of Shelter

Salem Mohammad Khalil Al Hathalin




Mohammad Khalil Al Hathalin



Bricks with zinco roofing

Abdulla Salem Ali Al Hathalin



One brick room and two zinco rooms

Mohammad Salem Eid Al Hathalin



Zinco room

Salem Eid Al Hathalin



Zinco storage “room” used for storing fodder and stuff.

Maleeha Hamad Al Hathalin (widow)



Zinco room

Adel Suleiman Eid Al Hathalin



Zinco kitchen






Photo 7: The ruins of Adel Suleiman Hathalin shelter.


It is worth noting that the new demolition was not the first one in the history of Al Hathalin; on February 14th, 2006 Israeli occupation forces violently demolished shelters, tents and animal pens owned by Mr. Shueib Al Hathalin.


Photo 8: Even the trees were not spared the destruction in Arab Al Hathalin


Umm Al Khair:

The area of Umm Al Khair is located east of the town of Yatta. It can be reached using the colonial By-Pass Road 60 which cuts through the region to connect between the scattered colonies. It also located at the outskirt of the Negev Desert and from it one can see the Jordan hills. In addition to Arab Al Hathalin, Arab Al Sarai’ah, Al Zweideen and Al Najada live in that area. Most of the shelters in the said area consist of tents and zinco structures. The residents of the area depend on herding as the main source of income. Yet, it seems that a large number of them are leaving this profession due to the harassment of the colonists as well as lack of water and grazing fields. There is only one school in the area (Al Sarai’ah High School) and only one clinic in the whole area administered by UNRWA. The population depends on gas canisters and wood-based fire for both illumination and cooking in their very basic Bedouin life style.


Photo 9: The Bedouin life style of Arab Al Hathalin

Photo 10: The tough conditions in which they raise in their children




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition