In photos: Defying Israel’s demolition orders in the South Hebron Hills | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

In photos: Defying Israel’s demolition orders in the South Hebron Hills

The residents of these rural communities have lived in this part of the West Bank for decades, many of them since before the Israeli military occupation began in 1967 and long before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Many families have documents proving ownership of the land.

In the 1980s, the Israeli army declared most of the area as a closed military zone for training — a designation imposed on approximately 18 percent of the West Bank. Approximately 5,000 Palestinians, mostly herders, live in those areas. The land of Masafer Yatta was subsequently leased to the World Zionist Organization for the development of Israel’s settlements, which are illegal under international law.

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