The Israeli occupation authorities have issued notices of their intention to demolish a solar energy project which provides the only source of electricity for a number of Palestinian villages south of Hebron. The head of the People’s Committee in Yatta confirmed that the Israelis told the residents of the plan to destroy the project, which was funded by European organisations. Rateb Jabour added that if the demolition threat goes ahead it will return 2,300 Palestinians to a life without a modern power source.
According to Mr. Jabour, the intention behind the destruction of the project is to encourage Palestinian residents to move out; in other words, he said, “displacement by stealth”. It has long been known that the Israelis try to make life so miserable for Palestinians that they will move away of their own accord and not have to be displaced forcibly; in Zionist terminology this is known as “silent transfer”.
The council leader in the village of Mnazel, Rashid Awad, explained that the village’s 500 inhabitants live on agriculture and sheep farming. The solar-produced electricity makes a huge difference to them in the purification and storage of milk.
In the same context, Mohamed Gabr, the director of Susia School, said that if his village and school are unable to have access to electricity as a result of the Israeli demolition of their solar panels and wind turbines, the local Palestinians will “be returned to the stone age”.