A number of structures in the Palestinian village of AlHadidiya were recently demolished by the Israeli army, OCHA reports. Located in Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank in the north of the otherwise fertile Jordan Valley, AlHadidiya is disconnected from all basic services, vulnerable to demolition and prohibited by the Israeli authorities from connecting to a water network despite the village’s proximity to a Mekorot pump. Due to this dire living situation, 40 families from the community have been forcibly transferred since 1997. In the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Roi, people consume 23 times more water than what is available to AlHadidiya, or about 460 liters of water per day. In AlHadidiya, the figure drops to 20 liters per day.
On November 25-27th 2015, Israeli authorities demolished a number of structures in AlHadidiya, seven of which were donor-funded and implemented by humanitarian agencies. One of the structures demolished was a road rehabilitated by an international NGO (INGO) with funding from the European Union funding agency for humanitarian projects, ECHO. This road had an injunction issued by the Israeli High Court of Justice to freeze its demolition until the end of December 2015 but was demolished nonetheless.
Completed only one month before its demolition, the road was used to ease access to water trucks for the community of AlHadidiya, who are denied running water by the Israeli authorities. Israeli restrictions on the development of any kind of Palestinian infrastructure in Area C forces the community of AlHadidiya to purchase water from private vendors, who bring water by trucks at a price which can be up to 5 times more expensive than water from the network. When the road is not paved, the time needed to bring water to the community increases and so does the price: the residents of AlHadidiya were paying around ₪30 (around €7.3) for private water vendors, a very expensive amount to a community depending on herding for income.
Not only has the road now been demolished, but the Israeli authorities have also confiscated a truck that was used to bring water to the village. The truck had been contracted by an international organization to increase water access to this vulnerable community.
Just a few months before the demolitions, on July 22nd 2015, EWASH and one of its members took a coalition of members of the European Parliament to AlHadidiya to let them witness a direct example of the direness of the water situation and briefed them about Israel’s restrictions of water to Palestinians.
Yet since then, more European funded structures have been demolished and the population of AlHadidiya has been further affected by Israel’s discriminatory policies.
As Greens member Florent Marcellesi told EWASH in a tweet, Israel’s demolitions of donor funded structures are a “shame” and called on the EU to react. It seems a compensation ask should be in order for Israel to halt its demolitions of development projects in Area C.