Last Wednesday (21 March) officials from the Israel Land Administration, accompanied by police forces, arrived in Umm al-Hiran in order to issue demolition orders to all village structures.
For a week the residents of Umm al-Hiran witnessed representatives of police and law enforcement bodies come and go, preparing for house demolitions and displacement of the village. On Wednesday, their fears were realized and representatives of the law enforcement authorities came to the village to issue demolition orders for all houses in the village. The demolition orders handed out on Wednesday stated that the evacuation date is flexible and will take place between April 15 and 28.
On January of last year a massive police force raided Umm al-Hiran in order to demolish structures. Before demolitions began, policemen fired at a local resident, Ya’akub Abu Alqian, while he was driving his car away from village, as he did not want to witness the destruction taking place. As a result of the shooting, Abu Alqian lost control over his car, which rolled down hill, killing policeman Erez Amedi. Ya’akub received no medical assistance and was left by the rescue forces to bleed to death. The police claimed, and keeps claiming, that this was a terrorist attack, despite the many contradictory findings (among others, those of the Police Investigation Department). As of now, it is still unclear whether the policemen who shot will be investigated and whether the incident will be classified as a terrorist attack by the State Attorney. More than year after the tragic incidence, the government is still exerting heavy pressure to evict the residents of Umm al-Hiran.
Despite the tragedy that took place last year and the residents’ opposition, government officials continue to try to forcibly evict the residents of Umm al-Hiran to Hura and build the Jewish settlement Hiran on top of the village ruins. While residents of Umm al-Hiran are willing to be part of the upcoming settlement of Hiran, the one and only choice the state is offering them is moving to Hura, even though there are no vacant plots there.
For years, the residents of Umm al-Hiran have been waging a courageous and inspiring struggle for the right to be equal citizens, the right to live in a democratic space, the right not to be transparent to their country.
We call upon all those who oppose racism and segregation to support the struggle of the residents Umm al-Hiran in their difficult times.