Israeli forces storm Palestinian family celebration in Masafer Yatta

Israeli forces storm Palestinian family celebration in Masafer Yatta
Israeli forces regularly storm Palestinian gatherings and homes in Masafer Yatta, where around 1,200 Palestinians face expulsion attempts by Israel.
2 min read
West Bank
21 July, 2023
Some 100 Palestinians in Masafer Yatta face expulsion orders from their homes by Israeli forces, backed by the Israeli supreme court [Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

On Thursday, Israeli forces stormed a Palestinian family celebration in Masafer Yatta, in the southern hills, local sources told The New Arab.

The troops broke into a house in the town of Twani, in the Masafer Yatta, where the Hureini family was celebrating the passing of their daughter in the national high school exams.

"We were having a family gathering to celebrate the success of my younger sister in the high school exams when the occupation troops broke into the house, pushed my elderly father and interrupted the celebration", Sami Hureini, a resident and activist in Masafer Yatta, told TNA.

"They interrogated the family members and arrested four foreign friends who were staying in Masafer Yatta",  said Hureini.

"I was outside of the house when the soldiers broke in, so they threatened my family to come back for me", he added.

Masafer Yatta region is an accumulation of Palestinian villages in the southern occupied West Bank, 12 of which were declared a 'firing zone' by the Israeli army in 1980. Since then, Palestinians have been facing Israeli attempts to transfer them out of their homes.

Last May, the Israeli supreme court ruled that the expulsion of around 1,200  Palestinians in Masafer Yatta was legal, ending a decades-long legal battle.

"The occupation not only demolishes any new structure we build in Masafer Yatta but also storms any form of community gathering", noted Hureini. "In June, occupation soldiers stormed a party here in Twani that the community organized to celebrate the school principal's retirement."

In  January, the Israeli army informed the Palestinian Authority that they would soon evacuate eight of the 12 villages and most of the 1,200 inhabitants of the area for military drills.