IOF Invade Homes, Threaten Families with 9 Children in Deir Istyia
IWPS hometown Deir Istyia, in Salfit district, is an agricultural village of about 4000 inhabitants . The Salfit district has 19 villages and 24 settlements. Land confiscation (http://iwps.info/…/deir-istiya-informed-colonial-land-confi…) is ongoing in the area and many of the settlements are growing, as the road, which connects them, widens (http://iwps.info/…/olive-trees-uprooted-for-settler-highway/).
Now three families, living in the outskirts of Deir Istyia (see photo), are under daily threats and harassment from the Israeli forces. They don’t know if the army is going to take over their land or are just trying to make their lives so unacceptable that they will decide to move from the land on which they have been living peacefully for many generations.
It started in the beginning of October, when soldiers began to go to the houses harassing the families, mainly during the daytime when women of the families are often alone with the children; in the daytime the men are working. Often at this time, Israeli soldier appear, scaring the women and children. One of the women explains how the soldiers hit her, and told her that the house wasn’t for her and that she soon would have to move away. They also told her that she was a terrorist, and that the soldiers will come back and shoot her soon.
Over the last 4 days the soldiers have been there both day and night, telling the families that they have permission to enter the roof of one of the houses. One night, the soldiers even stayed and slept on the roof. The soldiers claim they have to watch the road and what goes on near the house, because of “stone throwers”, even though there hasn’t been any stone throwing in that area. Last Saturday, when the soldiers were there, they took pictures of the house and the yard.
Now, the mothers don’t want to leave the houses because they are afraid of not being near the children all the time. The women describe how fearing to leave their home makes it feel like a prison. The children are traumatized, and some of them have started wetting their clothes. At night, the families can hear the soldiers walking around outside their houses and standing on the olive hill behind them.
Volunteers from International Solidarity Movement and International Women’s Peace Service will follow up what will happen for these families