By Jessica Frederick
HEBRON – Palestinian residents of the Beqa’a Valley are in danger of losing eleven homes and their health clinic. The clinic is currently under construction. The Israeli Civil Administration issued orders to the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) to demolish the homes and clinic by 14 February.
Residents in the valley have been building this clinic without governmental or outside funding, even though many have little or no paid employment. The Israeli Civil Administration refused to grant a building permit despite the difficulties residents encounter in reaching other health facilities outside of the valley. Between 600 and 700 people, mostly women and children, will use the new clinic for routine medical care, including prenatal checkups and vaccinations. Palestinian Relief and CARE International currently provide these services one day a week in other existing facilities. The residents decided to build their own clinic as the facilities they are now using are inadequate. Some patients are currently receiving care in part of one resident’s home.
(To view more pictures of Beqa’a Valley residents using an existing home as a clinic, visit:
Eleven other buildings also have demolition orders. Six of these are homes that the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) rebuilt after previous demolitions.
Atta Jaber, a resident of the Beqa’a Valley, told CPTer Jessica Frederick (member of Christian Peacemaker Teams), “We want the world to know that with our new clinic that has the demolition order, if there was an automobile accident on the Bypass Route 60, and Israelis were injured and could not get to a hospital, we would give them medical treatment right here in this Palestinian clinic. Tell the world.” Israeli authorities demolished Jaber’s home in the Beqa’a Valley three times.
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